George North returns to Wales XV for Scotland showdown
Last Updated: 23/02/17 7:39am
George North returns to the Wales line-up for Saturday's Six Nations clash with Scotland at Murrayfield.
North missed the 21-16 defeat to England with a dead leg but he is restored to the right wing with Alex Cuthbert, who deputised in Cardiff, dropping out of the squad.
It is the only change following the England defeat, with Wales coach Rob Howley retaining a back row of Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty, with 63-cap No 8 Taulupe Faletau again on the bench.
There is one switch among the replacements, with Faletau's Bath team-mate Luke Charteris involved for the first time in the current Six Nations campaign.
Charteris has been unavailable due to a fractured hand, but he has regained full fitness and takes over as second-row cover from Newport Gwent Dragons lock Cory Hill.
North, scorer of 28 tries in 66 Tests, was hurt during Wales' Six Nations opener against Italy 17 days ago.
Although he was then named to face England, he did not recover in time, with Cardiff Blues wing Cuthbert being called up.
In terms of the back-row mix, Moriarty was arguably Wales' outstanding performer against England, while flankers Warburton and Tipuric have also been in prime form, so it is no surprise that Howley has gone for the same again.
Faletau, as a result of two knee injuries, has made only a couple of 80-minute appearances for his club this term.
Howley said: "We have been able to select from a position of strength, which is a huge positive, and it is good to welcome George back into the starting XV and Luke on the bench.
"In terms of intensity and performance, we stepped up a level against England, and we need to take the positives from that performance and take it into 80 minutes against Scotland at Murrayfield.
"We know what we are capable of, and we want to deliver that on Saturday alongside the result, which international rugby is all about."
Despite the England defeat, Wales remain in Six Nations title contention, and they will head to Edinburgh aiming for a 10th successive victory over Scotland.
Wales have not lost in the fixture since seven Chris Paterson penalties condemned them to a 21-9 defeat in 2007, a run which has included four Murrayfield victories on the bounce.
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb; 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Tomas Francis, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 6 Sam Warburton, 7 Justin Tipuric, 8 Ross Moriarty.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Jamie Roberts.