Wales recall Williams for Six Nations clash with England

Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


Liam Williams is set for a high-profile return to rugby following several months out of action after being named by Wales coach Wayne Pivac in the team to play England in the Six Nations at Twickenham on Saturday.

Williams, who recently rejoined the Scarlets from English champions Saracens, has not played since Wales beat World Cup quarter-final opponents France on October 20, suffering an ankle injury in training a few days later.

But he will start on the wing in place of the injured Josh Adams as reigning Grand Slam champions Wales look to avoid losing three successive Six Nations matches for the first time since 2007, with Pivac making four changes to the team beaten 27-23 by France last time out.

Back row forward Josh Navidi returns from injury to like Williams make his first appearance of the campaign with Tomos Williams and Rob Evans also both named in the starting side.

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

"We have been targeting this game for both of their returns and they have trained really well so it's a great opportunity for them on Saturday."

Fly-half Dan Biggar has been named in the starting line-up despite an injury scare when he went off early in his club Northampton's Premiership defeat by Saracens last Saturday.

Fellow veteran and captain Alun Wyn Jones passes another landmark when he will become his country's most capped player in the Six Nations with 57.

Pivac has had a tough first campaign as national coach since filling the huge vacuum left by fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland.

Successive defeats by Ireland -- which ended hopes of a repeat Grand Slam -- and France have left them with only an outside chance of the title.

However, he is pleased with the way training has gone ahead of the challenging trip to Twickenham where their last win in the Six Nations came in 2012.

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

"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."

Wales (15-1)

Leigh Halfpenny; George North, Nick Tompkins, Hadleigh Parkes, Liam Williams; Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams; Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty; Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Jake Ball; Dillon Lewis, Ken Owens, Rob Evans

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Rhys Carre, Leon Brown, Aaron Shingler, Taulupe Faletau, Rhys Webb, Jarrod Evans, Johnny McNicholl

Coach: Wayne Pivac (NZL)