Six Nations

North returns from injury to boost Wales

2017-02-22 11:30
George North (Getty Images)
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Cardiff - George North has returned after injury to the Wales team announced on Wednesday for Saturday's Six Nations international away to Scotland.

North replaced Alex Cuthbert, heavily criticised for his role in Wales's 21-16 defeat by defending champions England in Cardiff earlier this month, in what was the only change to the starting side.

There was less than an hour before kick-off at the Principality Stadium when Northampton powerhouse wing North failed a fitness test on a leg injury and was replaced by Cuthbert.

England came from behind to win when, with just four minutes left, Elliot Daly scored a dramatic try in the corner after opposing wing Cuthbert missed a tackle.

Coach Rob Howley's decision to select Cardiff flyer Cuthbert, now no longer even in the matchday 23 for this weekend's visit to Murrayfield, against England was slammed as a "blind hope" call by former Wales wing Shane Williams.

Meanwhile Howley resisted the temptation to restore Taulupe Faletau, who came off the bench against England, to the starting side.

He instead retained a back-row of Ross Moriarty, Justin Tipuric and Sam Warburton. 

The experienced Faletau was again among the replacements, with fit-again lock Luke Charteris back on the bench.

Scotland, beaten 22-16 by France last time out, are due to name their side on Thursday.

"We have been able to select from a position of strength which is a huge positive and it is good to welcome George (North) back into the starting XV and Luke (Charteris) on to the bench,” said Howley in a Welsh Rugby Union statement. 

"In terms of intensity and performance, we stepped up a level against England and we need to take the positives from that performance and take it into 80 minutes against Scotland at Murrayfield," explained Howley, in charge while regular Wales coach Warren Gatland is seconded to the British and Irish Lions ahead of their tour of New Zealand later this year.

"We know what we are capable of and we want to deliver that on Saturday alongside the result, which international rugby is all about," the former Wales and Lions scrum-half added.

Both Wales and Scotland have one win from two matches in this season's Six Nations, with the Welsh beating Italy 33-7 in Rome first time up and the Scots launching their campaign with a 27-22 win at home to Ireland.

Teams:

Scotland

TBA

Wales

15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Warburton, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans
 
Substitutes: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Jamie Roberts

Read more on:    wales  |  scotland  |  six nations  |  george north  |  rugby
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