Dan Biggar, Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny return to Wales team to face Ireland

British & Irish Lions trio Dan Biggar, Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny have been named in Wales’ starting XV for their Six Nations encounter with Ireland on Saturday.

Fly-half Biggar has recovered from the shoulder injury that he sustained playing for Ospreys against Clermont Auvergne at the end of January.

He is poised to make his 61st appearance for Wales and form a half-back partnership with Gareth Davies.

Rhys Patchell, Wales’ starting fly-half against England, drops out of the match-day squad altogether with Gareth Anscombe taking his place on the bench.

Halfpenny moves straight back in at full-back after being a late withdrawal in Round 2 and the 29-year-old forms a back three unit with a fit-again Williams and Steff Evans.

Warren Gatland’s pack remains unchanged for the trip to Dublin and includes an all-Scarlets front-row for the third consecutive game.

Alun Wyn Jones will lead the side from the second-row. Despite being declared fit for selection earlier in the week Taulupe Faletau is not included and will return to Bath.

After an opening ound victory over Scotland followed by the narrow loss to England, Gatland is pleased to welcome back the British & Irish Lions trio.

“It is great to be able to bring so much experience back into the starting XV and into the backline,” said Gatland.

“It is the first week we have had everyone in the ‘green’ in terms of availability which is a nice luxury to have and a positive ahead of what is a very important test match against a very good Ireland

“We have been pleased with the depth we have developed in the back-three and pleased with how those players have gone but having the experience of Dan, Liam and Leigh coming back in is hugely important.

“We have been pleased with how the forward pack has been going and how they have worked as a unit but as always there is pressure for them to perform too.”

Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones and Tomas Francis are named as the front-row replacements with Bradley Davies and Justin Tipuric completing the forward contingent on the bench.

Aled Davies, Gareth Anscombe and George North will provide the back-line cover at the Aviva Stadium.

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Cory Hill, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (C), 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 Josh Navidi, 8 Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Bradley Davies, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 George North.

Source.