Wales hand Nick Tompkins maiden start against Ireland

Nick Tompkins in action for England Saxons against South Africa
Nick Tompkins in action for England Saxons against South Africa "A"
©Steve Haag

Saracens centre Nick Tompkins will make his first start for Wales in the upcoming Six Nations clash against Ireland to be played in Dublin this weekend.

The decision follows after Tompkins impressed on his maiden outing in the tournament opener against Italy where he came off the bench in the 53rd minute and scored a try in Wales' 42-0 win.

Tompkins will start at outside centre allowing George North to move to his familiar wing position with Johnny McNicholl dropping to the bench.

“We’ve made just one change after a winning start last weekend,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.

“Nick comes into the side, I thought he played exceptionally well when he came on last week so he deserves the start. George, who played really well last weekend at centre, moves back out to the wing.

“On the bench we have a few players back available. Rhys Carre impressed at the RWC and he comes back in. Adam Beard comes in for Cory Hill who picked up a leg injury earlier this week, Gareth (Davies) is fully fit and Owen Williams comes onto the bench and gives us a bit more cover.

“Momentum is important in the Championship. It was nice to get a good winning start under our belts and hopefully we can build on that through the tournament.”

The bench also sees Rhys Carre, Adam Beard, Gareth Davies and Owen Williams returning while Rhys Webb misses out from the matchday squad.

Wales starting XV: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Nick Tompkins, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones

Reserves: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Rhys Carre, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Johnny McNicholl

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