Wales v England: Scrum-half Lloyd Williams makes first start for four years

Lloyd Williams in action against Ireland when he won his 30th Wales cap
Lloyd Williams in action against Ireland when he won his 30th Wales cap
Autumn Nations Cup: Group A - Wales v England
Venue: Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli Date: Saturday, 28 November Kick-off: 16:00 GMT
Coverage: Listen to commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Radio 5 Live (second half only) and follow live text on the BBC Sport website and app.

Scrum-half Lloyd Williams will make his first Wales start for four years against England in Saturday's Autumn Nations Cup game in Llanelli.

The 30-year-old Cardiff Blues half-back will partner Dan Biggar.

Liam Williams misses out with a "nasty facial injury" with Leigh Halfpenny lining up at full-back.

Wing Louis Rees-Zammit, centre Johnny Williams and flanker James Botham are named after making first starts or debuts in the 18-0 win against Georgia.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has made eight personnel changes from the team that defeated Georgia.

Full-back Liam Williams failed to prove his fitness after suffering more than 15 stitches in his mouth against the Georgians.

Botham lines up in the back-row with Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi sidelined. Tipuric suffered concussion against Georgia, while Navidi has not featured for Wales during the autumn campaign because of his own head-injury issues.

Navidi and Tipuric are in contention for the final match of the tournament on 5 December.

"It's unfortunate but, as we've said all along, it's going to create opportunities for others and in the loose forwards, it's young James Botham and Shane Lewis-Hughes," said Pivac.

"They're a couple of guys with big futures and we're going to get the questions about them asked in this particular match because we're up against a very strong England team, who are going to bring a lot of intensity. What a match for these guys to be tested in."

Botham, grandson of cricket legend Lord Botham and son of former Cardiff wing Liam, will win his second cap by switching to his more natural open-side flanker position, with Shane Lewis-Hughes and Taulupe Faletau coming into the back row.

James Botham (left) and Louis Rees-Zammit both made their first Wales starts against Georgia
James Botham (left) and Louis Rees-Zammit both made their first Wales starts against Georgia

Scarlets forwards Wyn Jones, Samson Lee and Jake Ball are rewarded for powerful performances against Georgia with starting spots, alongside regional team-mate Ryan Elias and returning Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones in the front-five.

Lloyd Williams last started for Wales against Japan in November 2016 before being recalled to the squad by head coach Wayne Pivac ahead of the Six Nations 2020 final match against Scotland.

He made replacement appearances against Scotland and Ireland and is in line to start against England. Gareth Davies, Rhys Webb and Kieran Hardy were the three scrum-halves picked by Pivac in his initial squad.

"We just think it's a reward for the effort Lloyd has put in," said Pivac.

"He's come in and done everything that has been asked. It's been about speed to the breakdown. When he's been on the park, we've played some of our best rugby, so he gets an opportunity there.

"We looked closely at what we're doing at 10. We're going to give both guys a chunk of game time. Callum will get out there for a decent part of the second half to see how he goes in this company.

Wayne Pivac explains his selection ahead of Wales taking on England

"To start the game, with the defence and intensity England are going to bring, Dan's the right guy to."

With Jonathan Davies injured, fellow Scarlets centre Williams lines up against England just 18 months after starting for Eddie Jones in an uncapped side against Barbarians at Twickenham in 2019.

It did not affect his eligibility for Wales, through his father, and Williams made his debut against Georgia last weekend.

Williams again forms a centre partnership with another ex-England Under-20s centre Nick Tompkins.

Wales wing Josh Adams fits into the backline that started against Georgia with Johnny McNicholl ruled out with a rib injury.

British and Irish Lions wing George North has been released back to Ospreys.

The game against England will determine Wales' Group A finishing position and who they meet from Group B on finals day a week later.

Wales lost their opening match in Ireland before beating Georgia last weekend, ending a run of six consecutive defeats.

England, by contrast, are reigning Six Nations champions and have won both their opening Autumn Nations Cup matches against Georgia and Ireland.

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Wales team to face England

Wales: Halfpenny; Adams, Tompkins, J Williams, Rees-Zammit; Biggar, Lloyd Williams; W Jones, Elias, Lee, Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Lewis-Hughes, Botham, Faletau.

Replacements: Dee, Carre, Francis, Rowlands, Wainwright, Webb, Sheedy, Watkin.

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