| 10.6°C Dublin

Wales welcome back Liam Williams for Twickenham clash with Anthony Watson and Mark Wilson returning for hosts

The Scarlets wing has not played since the World Cup quarter-final on October 20.

Close

Liam Williams is back for Wales (Adam Davy/PA)

Liam Williams is back for Wales (Adam Davy/PA)

Liam Williams is back for Wales (Adam Davy/PA)

Liam Williams will make his comeback in Wales’ Guinness Six Nations clash against England on Saturday following more than four months on the sidelines.

The Scarlets' former Saracens wing has not played since Wales beat World Cup quarter-final opponents France on October 20, suffering an ankle injury during training just a few days later.

But Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has thrust fit-again Williams back into the Test match arena, replacing an injured Josh Adams as one of four changes from the side beaten by France 12 days ago.

Scrum-half Tomos Williams, prop Rob Evans and back-row forward Josh Navidi also start, with Williams in for Gareth Davies, Evans replacing Wyn Jones and Navidi taking over from number eight Taulupe Faletau.

Davies and Jones do not make the matchday 23, along with Dragons flanker Aaron Wainwright, who was a World Cup mainstay.

Navidi has been recovering from a hamstring injury and last played in Cardiff Blues’ European Challenge Cup game against Leicester on January 12.

Josh Navidi is back for Wales
Josh Navidi is back for Wales (David Davies/PA)

Wing George North and fly-half Dan Biggar, meanwhile, are both fit and retain their places.

North failed a head injury assessment during the France game last month, but he has passed all return-to-play protocols and also been independently assessed by a concussion expert.

And Biggar has recovered after going off with a knee injury in his club Northampton’s loss to Saracens last weekend.

On the bench, there are roles for scrum-half Rhys Webb, prop Rhys Carre and Scarlets forward Aaron Shingler, in addition to Faletau.

Wales last beat England in the Six Nations at Twickenham eight years ago, and defeat on Saturday would make it three successive losses in one tournament for a first time since 2007.

Pivac said: "We've had a good two weeks and we are really excited about heading up to Twickenham for what will be a huge Six Nations clash.

"We have had the chance to put the disappointments of the loss to France behind us, and we know heading to London we need to be more clinical in attack and convert the opportunities that we are creating.

"Liam's return to full fitness is a positive after the loss of Josh (Adams), as is the return of Josh Navidi."

Meanwhile, Anthony Watson and Mark Wilson will make their first England appearances since the World Cup final in Saturday's clash.

Watson has completed his recovery from a calf problem to start on the right wing where he replaces Jonathan Joseph, who drops out of the 23 altogether a fortnight after winning his 50th cap against Ireland.

An unspecified injury to Sam Underhill sees Wilson picked at openside flanker despite having made only one start for Sale this season due to a knee issue.

The return of Watson and Wilson are the only two changes to the side that thumped Ireland 24-12 at Twickenham.

Watson was scheduled to start the Six Nations opener against France but suffered a setback in his recovery from the injury incurred on Bath duty earlier in the month.

Wilson came into the England camp for the first time last week after proving his fitness for Sale and is preferred ahead of Lewis Ludlam, who missed out on a bench spot as Eddie Jones once again opted for a six-two split between forwards and backs.

"Wales are a very tough, well-coached side and they've been building on their attack since Wayne Pivac has taken over," England coach Eddie Jones said.

"It's always a tough game against Wales and we know they will bring that toughness to all the contest areas.

"We're looking forward to playing at home again and getting back out in front of our fantastic fans."

PA Media