Halfpenny starts for Wales against Ireland

February 1, 2023 5:41 am

Leigh Halfpenny. [Source: The Independent]

Leigh Halfpenny is set to make his first Wales start for 19 months in Saturday’s Six Nations opener against Ireland in Cardiff.

The Scarlets full-back who has returned from a serious knee injury, is named with Liam Williams missing out.

Centre Joe Hawkins makes his championship debut alongside Ospreys team-mate George North.

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Ken Owens captains Wales for the first time on his 87th cap and is one of only two forwards not from the Ospreys.

Head coach Warren Gatland says there is a mixture of experience and younger players in the side.

Wales will face Ireland at 2:15am on Sunday.

In other matches, England and Scotland also clash on Sunday at 4:45am while defending champions France meets Italy at 3am on Monday.