CARDIFF (Reuters) - Wales have handed a first cap to Luke Morgan after selecting the country’s all-time leading Sevens try scorer on the wing for the opening match of their November international series against Scotland at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday.
Morgan has been rewarded for his excellent form at Ospreys, with Liam Williams, Josh Adams and Jonah Holmes unavailable for the test that falls outside the designated international window.
“It is great to reward players on form and we are looking forward to seeing Luke make his debut on the wing,” attack coach Rob Howley said in a statement in the absence of head coach Warren Gatland, who has been in New Zealand this week following the death of his father.
“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.”
Jonathan Davies will play at outside centre in his first test since 2017, having been out with injury, while the half-back pairing will be flyhalf Gareth Anscombe and scrumhalf Gareth Davies.
Nicky Smith, Ken Owens and Dillon Lewis make up the front row of the scrum, with the latter playing his first test at home, while Cory Hill and captain Alun Wyn Jones are in the lock positions.
Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty link up in an all-British & Irish Lions back-row.
Uncapped flyhalf Jarrod Evans is on the bench and is likely to make his debut at some point, according to Howley.
“It will be good to see Jarrod from the bench and hopefully we see some x-factor from him.”
Howley added that Wales have been in discussions with Gatland all week about the make-up of the side.
“Warren has been in constant dialogue with us over the past week and we have selected a very strong squad for this weekend,” he said.
“We are very respectful of this Scotland team and are looking forward to what should be a great opening match.”
It is a rare meeting between two Six Nations rivals in the November international series and the teams will play for the Doddie Weir Cup in honour of the former Scotland lock who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease last year.
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, 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
Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Toby Davis and Ken Ferris