Wales captain Jones to equal Test appearance record against Scotland

Cardiff (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones is on course to equal the world record for international rugby union appearances in Saturday's Six Nations match at home to Scotland.

The lock's 148th Test, a tally that includes nine internationals for the British and Irish Lions, will see him draw level with the mark of retired former New Zealand captain Richie McCaw, the All Blacks' World Cup-winning skipper in 2011 and 2015.

Meanwhile Wales coach Wayne Pivac has made four changes to the side beaten 33-30 by England at Twickenham last week.

Scrum-half Rhys Web, lock Cory Hill, uncapped prop WillGriff John and fellow front-rower Wyn Jones are in the starting XV as Wales try to avoid a fourth straight loss in the Championship for the first time since 2007.

Webb, unavailable for his country during his time at French club Toulon because he did not meet the 60-cap rule for players based abroad, replaces Tomos Williams for his first Test start since November 2017.

"Alun Wyn is one of the most iconic figures in the game, he is our leader and I am delighted for him as he continues to set the bar across the game," said Pivac after naming his team on Thursday.

"Saturday is a great opportunity for us to wrap up the campaign with a big performance at home in Cardiff," explained the New Zealander, in his first season in charge after compatriot Warren Gatland stood down following the side's run to the semi-finals of last year's World Cup.

"We want to finish with the performance we know we can deliver and we have been working hard to get there."

This match is the only one of the three scheduled fixtures still currently going ahead for what had been planned as the final Saturday of this season's Six Nations.

Games between France and Ireland in Paris and Italy and England in Rome have both been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

And Scotland's trip to Wales could go the same way, or be played behind closed doors, if a meeting of the British government's emergency committee later on Thursday decides to cancel mass gatherings.

Wales (15-1)

Leigh Halfpenny; George North, Nick Tompkins, Hadleigh Parkes, Liam Williams; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty; Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Cory Hill; WillGriff John, Ken Owens, Wyn Jones

Replacements: Ryan Elias, Rhys Carre, Leon Brown, Will Rowlands, Taulupe Faletau, Gareth Davies, Jarrod Evans, Johnny McNicholl

Coach: Wayne Pivac (NZL)