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Wales opted to play England early on as Gatland makes big changes

Wales opted to play England early on as Gatland makes big changes

Warren Gatland named his Wales side to face England a day early, making seven changes to the side that failed to secure a win over Scotland.

Half-backs Tomos Williams and Euan Lloyd are handed over after their second-half performances in Cardiff, while George North returns to outside midfield for his 50th Six Nations appearance in the other change in the backline.

It's a brand new front row for the trip to Twickenham, with Gareth Thomas back in the line-up alongside Elliott Dee and Kieron Asserati – who impressed off the bench against Scotland.

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The other change to the squad sees blindside winger Alex Mann start after making his first scoring attempt off the bench last Saturday. Despite being criticized after the match, Gatland chose to keep Josh Adams in his starting team.

On the bench, Archie Griffin is set to make his debut, with Will Rowlands, Tyne Basham, Kieran Hardie and Kai Evans coming on as substitutes.

Gatland said: We have been critical and hard on ourselves this week. This first half was nowhere near the standards we expect. We simply cannot start the same way this Saturday.

“We showed in the second half against Scotland what we are capable of. Now it is about building on that performance and playing with some rhythm from the start.

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“We made some changes to the starting lineup this weekend which gives opportunities to the players coming in. We need to be precise and maintain our discipline.

“It's a huge game, not just because of the history and what it means to everyone in Wales. But it's an opportunity to get things back on track a little more. England are in a rebuilding phase. We're going there with a lot.” From trust we can build on this second half and faith.”

Wales lineup to face England: Wynette. Dyer, North, Tompkins, Adams; Lloyd Williams. Thomas, D., Asserati, Jenkins (Capt.), Bird, Mann, Revell, Wainwright.

Replacements: Elias, Domachowski, Griffin, Rowlands, Basham, Hardy, Evans, Gradi.

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