Francis starts for Wales
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs prop Tomas Francis is back in the Wales starting line-up for the first time since injuring his shoulder during the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The talented tight-head was forced from the field during his side’s semi-final loss to South Africa.
However, the 28-year-old returned to club action when the Gallagher Premiership returned after lockdown in August and he helped the Chiefs to double glory.
Not only did he pick up his second Premiership title last weekend with victory over Wasps at Twickenham, but he was also part of Exeter’s European success, claiming a first-ever Champions Cup crown with victory over Racing 92.
Now, he is set to run out for his 49th Test cap against Scotland at the Parc y Scarlets this Saturday (2:15pm).
He will pack down in a Welsh eight, which includes captain Alun Wyn Jones, whowill become rugby’s most capped international when he makes his 149th test appearance (140th for Wales plus 9 British & Irish Lions caps).
At the other end of the international spectrum, Cardiff Blues back-row Shane Lewis-Hughes will make his first test appearance for Wales in a back-row alongside experienced Lions duo Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau.
WALES TEAM TO PLAY SCOTLAND
1. Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues (9 Caps)
2. Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (14 Caps)
3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (48 Caps)
4. Will Rowlands (Wasps) (1 Cap)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, capt) (139 Caps)
6. Shane Lewis-Hughes (Cardiff Blues) (*Uncapped)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (77 Caps)
8. Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (77 Caps)
9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (54 Caps)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints) (84 Caps)
11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues) (25 Caps)
12. Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (22 Caps)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (82 Caps)
14. Liam Williams (Scarlets) (63 Caps)
15. Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (90 Caps)
16. Sam Parry (Ospreys) (1 Cap)
17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (25 Caps)
18. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) (27 Caps)
19. Cory Hill (Cardiff Blues) (26 Caps)
20. James Davies (Scarlets) (8 Caps)
21. Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues) (28 Caps)
22. Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) (20 Caps)
23. Nick Tompkins (Dragons) (5 Caps)