WALES have named an unchanged starting XV from the side that beat Scotland in their NatWest 6 Nations opener for their game against England at Twickenham on Saturday (KO 16.45).
There is just one change amongst the replacements with British & Irish Lion George North returning to wear jersey 23.
Leigh Halfpenny, who scored two tries as part of his 24-point haul against the Scots, lines up again alongside Josh Adams and Steff Evans in the back-three.
Hadleigh Parkes and Scott Williams continue their partnership in the midfield with Gareth Davies and Rhys Patchell the half-backs.
It is an all-Scarlet front-row once again with Rob Evans, Ken Owens and Samson Lee packing down together. Cory Hill partners captain Alun Wyn Jones in the second-row and Man-of-the-Match from last weekend, Aaron Shingler, lines up alongside Josh Navidi and Ross Moriarty in the back-row.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland said: “It’s great to name an unchanged starting XV, the players deserve that for a very good performance on the opening weekend.
“We have made one change on the bench, with George coming in for Owen (Watkin), which is tough on Owen but Josh (Adams) picked up a slight strain last weekend so George provides us a bit more cover there.
“We know how tough it is going to be against that huge English forward pack. They are really going to test us. England have been in great form the last couple of years so we know the challenge we face but we have had a good couple of weeks in camp and we are looking forward to going up to Twickenham.”
WALES TEAM TO PLAY ENGLAND:
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (75 Caps)
Josh Adams (Worcester) (1 Cap)
Scott Williams (Scarlets) (52 Caps)
Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (2 Caps)
Steff Evans (Scarlets) (6 Caps)
Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) (6 Caps)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (28 Caps)
Rob Evans (Scarlets) (21 Caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (53 Caps)
Samson Lee (Scarlets) (34 Caps)
Cory Hill (Dragons) (11 Caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (114 Caps) CAPT
Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (14 Caps)
Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (8 Caps)
Ross Moriarty (Gloucester) (18 Caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (3 Caps)
Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (6 Caps)
Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (27 Caps)
Bradley Davies (Ospreys) (58 Caps)
Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (53 Caps)
Aled Davies (Scarlets) (6 Caps)
Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues) (12 Caps)
George North (Northampton Saints) (69 Caps)
Street back to winning ways
BOW Street at last got back to winning ways in the league with a deserved and vital victory over worthy opposition on Saturday (Feb 16).
The visitors were combative opponents and had much of the possession and pressure in a frantic first half. But the home side took the lead after 30 minutes with an early contender for ‘Goal of the season, with a phenomenal 35-yard volley from Tomos Williams.
Bow Street settled after the interval and played far better and threatened the Llandrindod goal numerous times.
The game was finally settled when a sublime through ball from substitute Chris Jones played in Williams for his second goal. It was a solid team effort, with the goalkeeper and defence resolute.
The victory takes Bow Street up to 12th position in the league table.
Manager Barry Williams stated: “We knew it was a must win game and the whole team responded superbly. This will set up the boys nicely hopefully for the crucial next few weeks.”
Team: A Pennock, T Wyn Roberts, G Nutting, L Hughes, R Evans, T Williams, B Jones. O Roberts Young. M Pemberthy, C Ferreira, D Evans. Subs – R ap Owen, C Jones, J James.
On Saturday (Feb 23), they are away to fourth placed Berriew.
Aber earn first league win since November
ABERYSTWYTH Town’s season swung upwards on Friday night (Feb 8) at Stebonheath Park as a devastating three goal blitz in six minutes at the end of the first half put the Black and Greens in an unassailable position, and earned them their first League win since November.
Goals from Paolo Mendes (41 mins), Wes Baynes (43 mins) and two from the evergreen Geoff Kellaway (45+2 and 62) saw Town to the Top of the Play Off Conference with Joe Clarke (57 mins) and Joe Hunt (64 mins) responding for the Reds of Llanelli in vain.
After eight games without a win the magnitude of this match was huge for Aber and on a cold and blustery evening the home groundsmen had done a superb job to get the game on.
The Ceredigion men started well with Declan Walker and Wes Baynes putting dangerous balls into the box, and Ash Ruane having a shot blocked. The hosts were also creating chances though as Chris Jones’ effort from a James Loveridge pass was saved.
Mattie Jones’ superb left wing cross then saw Ruane straight through but home keeper Scott Coughlan pulled off a great save to deny the Green Goal Getter. Further quality crosses from Baynes and Jones caused consternation and then Ryan Wollacott, who was superb all night at the back for Town, brought another save from Coughlan with a header.
Loveridge curled a shot narrowly wide for Llanelli but then Baynes went even closer at the other end with a cross shot. Then a series of corners turned the game, and maybe even Aber’s entire season. First Jones’ corner reached Mendes at the back stick to head home.
Ruane’s shot was then deflected over for another corner, and Baynes’ cute delivery curled right into the top corner.
Four minutes later Aber were in dreamland as Kellaway found the bottom corner with a superb strike from the right hand side, and with the visiting fans signing for joy clinical Aber went in three goals to the good.
Playing against the wind in the second half the visitors continued to press without really creating too many openings. However, two former Black and Green players combined as Chris Jones crossed for Clarke to head Llanelli back into the game.
The next goal appeared crucial as the game opened up and Jones just failed to find Loveridge with a cut back which would surely have caused huge problems for Aber.
As it happens the hard working Marc Williams found the bye line at the other end and cut back for Kellaway to stab home a killer fourth, and surely the game was over?
However with the next move Joe Hunt’s free kick curled right into the corner of Terry McCormick’s net and it was 4-2.
A hugely open game continued apace and Aber’s Superb Singing Fans inspired their team forward. Kellaway burst through down the left but was denied a hat trick by Coughlan, and then Ryan “The Rock” Wollacott cleared off the line with the hosts threatening a comeback.
With five minutes of injury time indicated sub Joe Dyer sent a great chance over for Llanelli, and Aber held on for a priceless win.
Aber up to fourth after beating Llangwm
ABERAERON continued their march up the table as they earned a 55-0 victory at home to Llangwm on Saturday (Feb 9).
The Ceredigion side now sit fourth in the table just two points behind third place Haverfordwest with three games in hand as well.
As expected the outcome was never really in doubt with the bonus point win top of the agenda for Justin Lloyd and his coaching team.
True to form, it was the home side first out of the blocks, putting the visitors defence under considerable pressure in the opening phases.
They were rewarded for the enterprise with a try for wing Dyfrig Dafis with an excellent conversion against the elements by Rhodri Jenkins.
A competent Llangwm rearguard coupled with some unforced errors by the hosts reduced opportunities until midway in the opening period until no 8 Tudur Jenkins benefited from forward domination to cross for his 9th try of the campaign.
With forward play becoming more evident as the game progressed the front row of Ceri Davies, Sion Evans and Matt Roberts ably supported by second rows Daf Lloyd and captain Gethin Hughes paved the way for flanker Gethin Dafis to record his second double in a week with Jenkins adding a conversion giving Aberaeron a 24 point advantage at the break.
It did not take long after the restart for further scores with Morgan Llewelyn the benefactor again ably converted by Jenkins. With the result never in doubt the introduction of several subs brought immediate benefit as prop Owain Wozencraft bulldozed his way over the line after receiving his first pass.
The added conversion by Jenkins was followed by another double, this time by centre Ollie Sawyer, a due reward for a stalwart both in attack and defence.
The final score by wing Rhodri Thomas added icing on the cake and the conversion by Jenkins brought a tally of 10 points for the outside half.
It will be fourth versus fifth this Saturday (Feb 16), as Aber host Laugharne in what will prove a good test for the Ceredigion side.
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