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Cardiff Blues Captain Sam Warburton will win his 50th cap against England on Friday evening as he leads a Wales side that contains two changes from the XV that beat South Africa in their last outing.

A total of 15 players from the four Welsh Regions have been named in the match day squad to face England; seven from Ospreys, four from Scarlets, three from Cardiff Blues and one from the Newport Gwent Dragons.

Warren Gatland has named his team this morning, 48 hours ahead of schedule, and it sees the return of British and Irish Lions Richard Hibbard and George North to the starting line-up for the RSB 6 Nations tournament opener.

Hibbard will line-up in the front-row with Gethin Jenkins and Samson Lee, with Jake Ball and Alun Wyn Jones packing down behind.

Warburton is named in a familiar back row with Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau.

Ospreys duo Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar continue at half-back with Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies continuing their partnership in midfield.

North is the only change in backline and lines up in a back three along with Alex Cuthbert and Leigh Halfpenny.

“We decided to name the team early to give the players the best possible chance of preparation”, said Gatland.

“It was a tough call on the two changes we have made from the side that beat South Africa, but its good to have these and other tough selection decisions and it’s a strong position to be in.

“We are excited about kicking the tournament off on Friday against a strong England side in front of a packed Millennium Stadium.”

Scott Baldwin, Paul James and Aaron Jarvis form the front-row cover on the bench, with Luke Charteris and Justin Tipuric completing the forward contingent. Mike Phillips, Rhys Priestland and Liam Williams provide the backline cover.

WALES TEAM TO PLAY ENGLAND:

Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (ASM Clermont Auvergne), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), George North (Northampton Saints), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, CAPT), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath Rugby), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Liam Williams (Scarlets).