A NEWCASTLE Emlyn prop has returned from injury to start for Wales in the Six Nations clash with England.

30-year-old Gareth Thomas missed last week’s narrow defeat to Scotland due to injury but is now fit and will start at loose head in the clash with England at Twickenham on Saturday.

The former Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi pupil’s fellow Newcastle Emlyn squad mate – scrum half Gareth Davies – misses out as he is replaced by Tomos Williams who took over from him early in the second half in last week’s tournament opener, and Kieran Hardy comes onto the bench as scrum half cover.

Elsewhere in the team, George North returns to the line up and will make his 50th Six Nations appearance.

Alex Mann – who made his debut off the bench and scored his first senior try – will start ay blindside flanker. A number of the substitutes from last weekend’s second half comeback have also earned starting spots including the aforementioned Mann and Williams, as well as hooker Elliot Dee, tight head prop Kieron Assiratti and fly half Ioan Lloyd.

The side will again be captained by Dafydd Jenkins. On the bench, prop Archie Griffin could make his first senior appearance, with Cai Evans in line to make his Six Nations debut.

Head coach Warren Gatland said: “We’ve been critical and tough on ourselves this week. That first half was nowhere near the standards we expect. We simply cannot start the same way this Saturday.

“We showed in the second half against Scotland what we are capable of. Now it’s about building on that performance and playing with some tempo from the off.

“We’ve made a few changes to the starting line-up this weekend which gives opportunities to the players coming in. We need to be accurate and keep our discipline.

“This is a massive game, not only because of the history and what it means to everyone in Wales. But it’s an opportunity to get things on track a bit more. England are in a rebuilding phase. We’ll go there with a lot of confidence we can build on that second half and belief.”

Wales team to face England at Twickenham on Saturday, February 10 (live on ITV and S4c, 4.45pm kick off: 15 Cameron Winnett, 14 Josh Adams, 13 George North, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Ioan Lloyd, 9 Tomos Williams, 1 Gareth Thomas, 2 Elliot Dee, 3 Keiron Assiratti, 4 Dafydd Jenkins, 5 Adam Beard, 6 Alex Mann, 7 Tommy Reffell, 8 Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Archie Griffin, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Taine Basham, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Cai Evans, 23 Mason Grady.