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London Wasps centre Gemma Rowland and London Welsh lock Rebecca Rowe will face a baptism of fire on their Wales debuts when they tackle world champions England at St Helens on Sunday (KO: 2.3pm) in the opening Six Nations encounter of the season.

Wales Women’s head coach Rhys Edwards has largely stuck to the tried and tested although there are positional switches for captain Rachel Taylor and Shona Powell-Hughes with the skipper moving to the second row while the latter will pack down at No 8.

Experienced campaigner Elen Evans switches to the wing from her more accustomed role at centre while Laurie Harries also moves to the other wing to allow Dyddgu Hywel a starting role from full-back.

The various alterations mean Wales will have a new midfield pairing where Rowland will play alongside Adi Taviner – a partnership Edwards is keen to see in action.

“Adi and Gemma are the form centres at the moment and they offer a real cutting edge from midfield. The minor adjustments we have made in regards to the wings and at full-back shouldn’t cause any disruption as the players have all had experience in those positions before at international level.

“We now have plenty of pace and penetration throughout the backline, particularly out wide so it is an exciting combination and  one I am looking forward to seeing play together,” he added.

Keira Bevan, Amy Evans and Melissa Clay are the uncapped players on the bench while there are recalls to the international arena for Amy Lawrence and Kerin Lake.

Wales Women v England
Sunday 8th February, St Helen’s, Swansea, 2.30pm

15 Dyddgu Hywel (Pontyclun / Scarlets)
14 Elen Evans (Waterloo / Scarlets)
13 Adi Taviner (Skewen / Ospreys)
12 Gemma Rowland (London Wasps / Dragons)
11 Laurie Harries (Llandaff North/ Blues)
10 Elinor Snowsill (Dragons)
9 Amy Day (Llandaff North / Dragons):
1 Caryl Thomas (Bath Ladies / Scarlets)
2 Carys Phillips (Skewen / Ospreys)
3 Catrin Edwards (Llandaff North / Scarlets)
4 Rebecca Rowe (London Welsh / Dragons)
5 Rachel Taylor (Bristol Ladies / Dragons – Capt)
6 Sian Williams (Worcester / Dragons)
7 Sioned Harries (Whitland / Scarlets)
8 Shona Powell-Hughes (Skewen / Ospreys).

Replacements:
16 Amy Lawrence (Skewen / Ospreys)
17 Jenny Davies (Caernarfon / Blues)
18 Amy Evans (Skewen / Ospreys)
19 Jenny Hawkins (Llandaff North / Blues)
20 Melissa Clay (Pencoed / Ospreys)
21 Keira Bevan (Skewen / Ospreys)
22 Robyn Wilkins (Llandaff North / Blues)
23 Kerin Lake (Skewen / Ospreys)