Fly-half Dan Biggar was on Thursday named in an unchanged Wales team for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Scotland in Cardiff after overcoming an ankle injury.
A sprained ankle forced Biggar to hobble off during the first half of last weekend’s 16-16 draw with Ireland in Dublin, which saw Rhys Priestland take his place.
But the Ospreys number 10 is fit enough to retain his place in Warren Gatland’s starting XV, with the fit-again Gareth Anscombe replacing Alex Cuthbert among the replacements in the only change to the match squad.
“It’s great to be able to name an unchanged side, with Dan coming through, fit and ready to play,” head coach Gatland said in a Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) press release.
“It’s a reward for some players who put in a great shift in Dublin whilst we will be asking a little more of some of the players as well.”
Biggar was one of Wales’s stand-out performers during their run to the World Cup quarter-finals in October and has become a vital component for Gatland.
Gatland has again picked captain Sam Warburton at blindside flanker, while Justin Tipuric continues at number seven.
Jonathan Davies will win his 50th cap and lines up alongside Jamie Roberts at centre for the 41st time in Tests, with Anscombe offering cover across the back division from the bench.
“It’s great to see Jonathan reach his 50th cap and continue his impressive international partnership with Jamie in the midfield,” Gatland added.
“We were impressed with the impact from the bench last week and that will be just as vital this weekend in what is going to be a tough battle.”
Wales have beaten Scotland in eight successive Tests since Gatland took charge in 2008 and the Scots have not won in the Welsh capital since a 27-22 victory in 2002.
Welsh Grand Slam and Triple Crown hopes were nixed by the draw at the Aviva Stadium, but they remain strong candidates for the title, with three of their remaining four matches at home.
Wales team (15-1) announced on Thursday for Saturday’s Six Nations match against Scotland at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium (1650 GMT kick-off):
Liam Williams; George North, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Tom James; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Taulupe Faletau, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton (capt); Alun Wyn Jones, Luke Charteris; Samson Lee, Scott Baldwin, Rob Evans
Replacements: Ken Owens, Gethin Jenkins, Tomas Francis, Bradley Davies, Dan Lydiate, Lloyd Williams, Rhys Priestland, Gareth Anscombe. – Agence France-Presse