Wales name team to play Scotland in Six Nations

Warren Gatland says it was “a fairly straightforward selection” after making one change to his starting line-up for Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations clash against Scotland.

Adam Beard will start for Wales in the second row against Scotland. Picture: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Ospreys lock Adam Beard replaces Cory Hill, who will miss the rest of the tournament after suffering an ankle injury during Wales’ 21-13 victory over England 10 days ago.

Scarlets forward Jake Ball takes Beard’s place on the bench, with Gatland announcing the team for Murrayfield 48 hours earlier than initially planned.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Although full-back Leigh Halfpenny continued his comeback for the Scarlets three days ago after suffering concussion in November, Gatland has retained Ospreys centre Owen Watkin as the outside back on replacement duty.

“It was a fairly straightforward selection,” Wales head coach Gatland said. “After that performance against England they deserved the opportunity to back up. “I think Leigh is still getting some games under his belt and getting some confidence back. He was good last weekend.

“It’s a little bit unfair on Owen Watkin to leave him out as he’s been doing a good job for us. It was a very simple selection meeting in terms of not a lot of discussion around selection.”

Wales are chasing a 13th successive victory, having not been beaten since the midway point of last season’s Six Nations when Ireland toppled them 37-27 in Dublin. If they beat Scotland and then see off Ireland in Cardiff seven days later it would secure the title and a Grand Slam.

Although they lost to Scotland in Edinburgh on their last visit two years ago, Wales won the four previous Murrayfield encounters. And they will face a Scotland side defeated in their last two Six Nations games this season.

Gatland added: “There is no doubt that their [Scotland’s] record at Murrayfield has been very impressive, and they are hard to beat there for any team. They will be disappointed and hurting from that performance last week against France in Paris. We are well aware of their threat.

“The [Wales] players that were involved two years ago [against Scotland] were pretty disappointed with that result and that performance. We’ve got a big challenge on our hands for a couple of reasons.

“One is to avenge that defeat from two years ago, but we’ve also got the bigger picture in mind of trying to win the Six Nations.”

Wales team to play Scotland at BT Murrayfield on Saturday:

L Williams (Saracens); G North (Ospreys), J Davies (Scarlets), H Parkes (Scarlets), J Adams (Worcester); G Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), G Davies (Scarlets); R Evans (Scarlets), K Owens (Scarlets), T Francis (Exeter), A Beard (Ospreys), A W Jones (Ospreys, capt), J Navidi (Cardiff Blues), J Tipuric (Ospreys), R Moriarty (Dragons).

Replacements: E Dee (Dragons), N Smith (Ospreys), D Lewis (Cardiff Blues), J Ball (Scarlets), A Wainwright (Dragons), A Davies (Ospreys), D Biggar (Northampton), O Watkin (Ospreys).