Six Nations: Lawes set for England return, Biggar dropped as Gatland rings Wales changes

By Sports Desk February 23, 2023

Courtney Lawes is poised to make his England return at the Principality Stadium, while Dan Biggar drops to the bench as Warren Gatland has made nine changes to his team for the Six Nations clash on Saturday.

Lock Lawes has been named among the replacements after recovering from injury and is set to make his first appearance for the Red Rose since captaining his country for the series victory in Australia last year.

Anthony Watson has got the nod to start on the left wing ahead of Ollie Hassell-Collins in the only change to the team that beat Italy 31-14 before the weekend off.

That means Marcus Smith is on the bench once again, with captain Owen Farrell staying at fly-half.

Warren Gatland has wielded the axe following a 35-7 hammered at the hands of Scotland, fly-half Biggar among those to lose his place. George North, Liam Williams and Wyn Jones miss out altogether.

Centre Mason Grady will make his senior bow, Owen Williams comes in at number 10 and the fit-again Louis Rees-Zammit is back on the wing.

It was confirmed on Wednesday that the game will go ahead following a threat of strike action from Wales players, who will attempt to get up and running following defeats to Ireland and Scotland.

Wales team: Leigh Halfpenny, Josh Adams, Mason Grady, Joe Hawkins, Louis Rees-Zammit, Owen Williams, Tomos Williams; Gareth Thomas, Ken Owens (captain), Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Christ Tshiunza, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Bradley Roberts, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Dafydd Jenkins, Tommy Reffell, Kieran Hardy, Dan Biggar, Nick Tompkins.

England team: Freddie Steward, Max Malins, Henry Slade, Ollie Lawrence, Anthony Watson, Owen Farrell (captain), Jack van Poortvliet;  Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Ollie Chessum, Lewis Ludlam, Jack Willis, Alex Dombrandt.

Replacements: Jack Walker, Mako Vunipola, Dan Cole, Courtney Lawes, Ben Curry, Alex Mitchell, Marcus Smith, Henry Arundell.

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