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Ex-Wales Sevens star handed debut against Scotland

Wing Luke Morgan will start in Saturday’s autumn international at the Principality Stadium.

Morgan in action for Wales' Sevens.
Morgan in action for Wales' Sevens.
Image: AAP/PA Images

OSPREYS WING LUKE Morgan will make his Wales debut against Scotland at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on Saturday.

Morgan, Wales’ record try-scorer on the world Sevens circuit, returned to Welsh regional side the Ospreys this season after six years playing in the abbreviated format.

Ospreys flanker Dan Lydiate, whose last international appearance was 11 months ago, was recalled to a Wales team announced on Thursday, with veteran lock Alun Wyn Jones captaining a side that contains seven British and Irish Lions Test players.

Elsewhere, Cardiff Blues back Gareth Anscombe is at fly-half for only his fourth start in the number 10 shirt in 19 Tests while centre Jonathan Davies, the Lions player of the series in their drawn 2017 campaign against New Zealand returns after nearly a year out of Test action with a foot injury.

Because this match falls outside World Rugby’s official window for November Tests, foreign clubs are not obliged to release any of their Wales players for Saturday’s fixture.

So Wales will be without their English Premiership quartet of Liam Williams, Dan Biggar, Josh Adams and Tomas Francis.

But Gatland, now back with the Wales camp after returning to his native New Zealand last week following the death of his father, will still be fielding a hugely experienced side with nearly 650 caps between them.

“We are excited to kick off our autumn campaign on Saturday and it was great to welcome Warren back yesterday,” said Wales assistant coach Rob Howley today.

Warren has been in constant dialogue with us over the past week and we have selected a very strong squad for this weekend.”

Former Wales and Lions scrum-half Howley added: “It is great to reward players on form and we are looking forward to seeing Luke make his debut on the wing.

“He has come through the Sevens system, he will bring a point of difference to the squad and it’s a great opportunity for him.”

Wales, who beat Scotland 34-7 in this year’s Six Nations in Cardiff, have not lost at home to the Scots since a 27-22 defeat in 2002 when opposition coach Gregor Townsend was still playing for the Dark Blues.

Wales v Scotland - NatWest 6 Nations - Principality Stadium Stuart McInally will captain Scotland. Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Edinburgh hooker Stuart McInally will lead Scotland out after being named as captain by Townsend yesterday.

It will be the second time the 28-year-old McInally has skippered the national side after leading Scotland to a 44-15 win away to Argentina at Resistencia in June in their final match of a tour of the Americas after he missed earlier fixtures on the trip through injury.

Scotland will also be unable to select their overseas-based players, so that has ruled out Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw, now at French club Clermont, while injury has sidelined another former captain in John Barclay, with Townsend deciding to retain McInally as skipper.

The window restrictions mean Townsend’s team is effectively an Edinburgh-Glasgow select side.

Both the Scottish Rugby Union, who announced their team on Wednesday, and their Welsh counterparts have been accused of devaluing their annual clash in the Six Nations by taking the unusual step of agreeing to play each other in November.

There were also complaints that spectators had been led into thinking a portion of their ticket money for the Doddie Weir Cup fixture would go towards raising money for the charity of the former Scotland lock, who is suffering from Motor Neurone Disease.

Initially both the SRU and the Welsh Rugby Union said the fixture was designed to “raise awareness” of MND, but on Monday, following a public outcry, both governing bodies announced they would donate a joint six-figure sum “directly from the proceeds of Saturday’s fixture” to the My Name’s Doddie Foundation.

Wales:

15. Leigh Halfpenny
14. George North
13. Jonathan Davies
12. Hadleigh Parkes
11. Luke Morgan
10. Gareth Anscombe
9. Gareth Davies

8. Ross Moriarty
7. Justin Tipuric
6. Dan Lydiate
5. Alun Wyn Jones (captain)
4. Cory Hill&nbsp
3. Dillon Lewis
2. Ken Owens
1. Nicky Smith

Replacements:

16. Elliot Dee
17. Rob Evans
18. Leon Brown
19. Adam Beard
20. Aaron Wainwright
21. Tomos Williams
22. Jarrod Evans
23. Steff Evans

Scotland: 

15. Blair Kinghorn
14. Tommy Seymour
13. Huw Jones 
12. Alex Dunbar
11. Lee Jones
10. Adam Hastings
9. Ali Price

8. Ryan Wilson
7. Hamish Watson
6. Jamie Ritchie
5. Jonny Gray
4. Ben Toolis
3. Willem Nel
2. Stuart McInally (captain)
1. Allan Dell

Replacements:

16. Fraser Brown
17. Alex Allan
18. Simon Berghan
19. Grant Gilchrist
20. Matt Fagerson
21. George Horne
22. Pete Horne
23. Darcy Graham

© AFP 2018 

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