Six Nations 2016: Wales pick Rob Evans ahead of Gethin Jenkins

Rob Evans
Rob Evans, with three appearances for Wales, is selected ahead of Gethin Jenkins who has 119 caps
Six Nations: Ireland v Wales
Date: Sunday, 7 February Venue: Aviva Stadium Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Scarlets prop Rob Evans will start for Wales against Ireland in the Six Nations on Sunday in Dublin.

It means record cap-holder Gethin Jenkins drops to the bench against the defending champions.

Sam Warburton is selected on the blind-side with Ospreys' Justin Tipuric at open-side and Dan Lydiate on the bench.

Gareth Anscombe starts at full-back, with Cardiff Blues team-mate Tom James preferred to Alex Cuthbert on the wing, almost six years after his last cap.

The team shows four changes from the one which started the World Cup quarter-final against South Africa in October.

More from BBC Wales Sport
Northampton's style not helping George North
West Brom 1-1 Swansea City
David Bulbring sings for Scarlets

There is no place in the match-day squad for Scarlets full-back Liam Williams, who made his return after injury against Connacht last weekend.

Warburton starts in spite of having played only one hour of rugby since November, while James returns to the squad for the first time since November 2010.

Gethin Jenkins packs down for Wales
Gethin Jenkins made his Wales debut against Romania in 2002

Experienced bench

Coach Warren Gatland said the decision to pick Evans ahead of the vastly-experienced Jenkins reflected the Scarlet player's good form.

And with British and Irish Lions Jenkins, Lydiate and Cuthbert on the bench, it means the Wales replacements can boast 364 caps between them.

"We are excited by the make-up of the squad, it's very experienced along with one eye looking to the future," said Gatland.

"Rob [Evans] gets a start at loose-head, he's played well for us before and deserves a chance looking ahead to the next few years.

"We have been impressed with Tom James' form for Cardiff Blues and we are excited by the mix of the back-row which has played well together before.

"It's great to see Jonathan [Davies] back and alongside Jamie Roberts, which makes a pretty experienced midfield.

"We have a very experienced bench, with a lot of caps there and hopefully they will come on and make an impact."

Wales team: Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues); George North (Northampton Saints), Jonathan Davies (ASM Clermont), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), Tom James (Cardiff Blues); Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets); Rob Evans (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Racing 92), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, Capt), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Priestland (Bath Rugby), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues).

Top Stories