Jones retains Wales starting berth
February 9, 2010
Alun-Wyn Jones has been given a chance to atone for his mistake against England © Getty Images
Gareth Cooper Leigh Halfpenny Gethin Jenkins Alun-Wyn Jones Stephen Jones Matthew Rees Jonathan Thomas
Wales coach Warren Gatland has made two changes to his side for the visit of Scotland to the Millennium Stadium on Saturday, with Leigh Halfpenny and Jonathan Thomas claiming starting berths.
Dragons lock Luke Charteris and Blues wing Tom James are the players to miss out as Ospreys lock Alun-Wyn Jones is given a chance to atone for his costly yellow card in defeat to England at Twickenham last weekend.
Thomas slots directly into the second-row alongside his club team-mate, while Halfpenny joins Lee Byrne and Shane Williams in the back-three. Both Charteris and James miss out on the 22 altogether as Blues duo Sam Warburton and Tom Shanklin are promoted to the bench.
Gethin Jenkins has recovered from a calf injury but must make do with a place among the replacements as Paul James joins Gareth Williams and Adam Jones in an unchanged front-row.
One area of surprise is at scrum-half, where Gareth Cooper retains his place despite a disappointing showing at Twickenham. Richie Rees is back-up once again while Stephen Jones remains at fly-half inside the centre combination of Jamie Roberts and James Hook.
"Jonathan brings over 50 caps of experience to the tight five and offers us some extra mobility around the field," Gatland said. "Leigh is a recognised right wing who offers us an extra kicking option and his return to full fitness after limited training in the run up to the England game allows his selection.
"We think we have a very strong bench with the right mix of players each able to make an impact if called upon and are pleased to be able to name Gethin although he will undergo further fitness assessments later in the week.
"We were all disappointed with the result last weekend but the good news for these players is that they have an opportunity now, just seven days after losing a game we all feel we could have won, to bounce back against Scotland."
Wales: L Byrne (Ospreys); L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), J Hook (Ospreys), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Ospreys); S Jones (Scarlets), G Cooper (Cardiff Blues); P James (Ospreys), G Williams (Cardiff Blues), A Jones (Ospreys), J Thomas (Ospreys), A-W Jones (Ospreys), A Powell (Cardiff Blues), M Williams (Cardiff Blues), R Jones (Ospreys, capt)
Replacements: H Bennett (Ospreys), G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), B Davies (Cardiff Blues), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues), R Rees (Cardiff Blues), A Bishop (Ospreys), T Shanklin (Cardiff Blues)