CARDIFF, Wales — Fit-again backs Dan Biggar, Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny were recalled by Wales on Tuesday to play Ireland in Six Nations rugby this weekend.
Biggar and Williams will make their first appearances in this Six Nations. Halfpenny starred in the opening win over Scotland but withdrew on the morning of the 12-6 loss to England because of a foot infection.
They are the only three changes to the 15 after the defeat at Twickenham 10 days ago.
Biggar, who injured his right shoulder in a club game on Jan. 22 and was expected to miss the first three rounds of the Six Nations, replaces Rhys Patchell. Williams, coming back from abdominal and hip injuries, was on the right wing instead of Josh Adams, and Halfpenny returns to fullback for Gareth Anscombe.
Only Anscombe made the reserves, which also included George North, who was an impactful substitute against England and scored a try for Northampton last weekend.
“It is great to be able to bring so much experience back into the starting XV and into the backline,” coach Warren Gatland said in a statement. “Having the experience of Dan, Liam and Leigh coming back in is hugely important.”
No. 8 Taulupe Faletau was available, too, after damaging left knee ligaments in early December. But he needed a game for his Bath club before being considered.
“We have been pleased with how the forward pack has been going and how they have worked as a unit, but as always there is pressure for them to perform, too,” Gatland said.
He will take charge of Wales for the 100th time on Saturday in Dublin
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams, Scott Williams, Hadleigh Parkes, Steff Evans, Dam Biggar, Gareth Davies; Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Aaron Shingler, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Cory Hill, Samson Lee, Ken Owens, Rob Evans. Reserves: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Tomas Francis, Bradley Davies, Justin Tipuric, Aled Davies, Gareth Anscombe, George North.