Six Nations 2014: Jonathan Davies recalled by Wales for Test against England
The sides meet at Twickenham on Saturday
Wednesday 05 March 2014
Wales boss Warren Gatland has recalled centre Jonathan Davies after a four-month absence from Test rugby for next Sunday's RBS 6 Nations clash against title rivals England at Twickenham.
Davies has seen just 105 minutes of competitive action for the Scarlets since suffering a torn pectoral muscle during Wales' opening autumn series defeat by South Africa on November 9.
But the 25-year-old, a star performer in the British and Irish Lions' Test series triumph against Australia last summer, returns to resume his powerful midfield partnership with Jamie Roberts.
With Davies back, George North, who deputised in the number 13 shirt against France last month, reverts to his familiar wing position, with Liam Williams dropping out.
One other change sees fit-again lock Alun-Wyn Jones take over from Jake Ball.
Scarlets pair Williams and Ball are both on the bench, along with Mike Phillips as Rhys Webb retains scrum-half duties after impressing on his first Wales start when France were crushed 27-6.
Jones, meanwhile, missed the France encounter due to a foot infection, but he has now fully recovered.
Gatland's line-up contains 11 of the team that ended England's Grand Slam hopes by a record 30-3 margin in Cardiff last season, with Webb, fly-half Rhys Priestland, lock Luke Charteris and flanker Dan Lydiate the only players involved this time who did not start that game.
And there are nine members of the Gatland-coached Lions third Test team that destroyed Australia in Sydney last July to claim a first series triumph since 1997.
Reflecting on his selection for Twickenham, Gatland said: "It's great to have both Jon and Alun-Wyn back and available, and they come into a very experienced side.
"Jon came through the match well at the weekend (against Munster) and he is ready to go.
"We were happy with the response and performance against France, but we know we will have to raise it another level on Sunday.
"We are really looking forward to going up to Twickenham. England have performed well so far, and it is set up to be a great game with all to play for."
Four teams - Ireland, England, Wales and France - are currently locked on four points at the top of the Six Nations table.
Ireland's superior points difference means they are favourites to lift the title, although their final game on Match 15 is against France in Paris.
The losers at Twickenham will effectively be out of title contention, which further raises the stakes for the 125th meeting between two fierce rivals. The countries are currently locked on 56 wins each, with 12 draws.
England head coach Stuart Lancaster is due to name his starting XV on Friday.
Wales team to play England in the RBS 6 Nations Championship at Twickenham on Sunday.
L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); A Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), J Davies (Scarlets), J Roberts (Racing Metro), G North (Northampton); R Priestland (Scarlets), R Webb (Ospreys); G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), R Hibbard (Ospreys), A Jones (Ospreys), L Charteris (Perpignan), A-W Jones (Ospreys), D Lydiate (Racing Metro), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Replacements: K Owens (Scarlets), P James (Bath), R Jones (Scarlets), J Ball (Scarlets), J Tipuric (Ospreys), M Phillips (Racing Metro), D Biggar (Ospreys), L Williams (Scarlets).
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