An Amman Valley rugby player will be starting for Wales in the opening Six Nations fixture against Ireland this weekend.

Jac Morgan, 23, from Brynamman, who went to school at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman, will be starting at blindside flanker.

It will be his seventh cap for the national side since his debut against Scotland in the 2022 Six Nations tournament.

The Ospreys flanker previously captained Wales U18s, featured for Wales U20s and played for the Scarlets before signing for the Ospreys in 2021. He started his rugby days at Cwmtwrch and in the Scarlets Academy and has played for Aberavon.

In his international career Morgan – who is cap number 1177 – has featured three times for Wales in the Six Nations, and three times in the Autumn Nations Series and has scored four tries.

He is joined by 11 fellow Ospreys in the side to face Ireland on Saturday, February 4 as George North, Joe Hawkins, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Gareth Thomas and Justin Tipuric starting and Scott Baldwin, Rhys Webb, Owen Williams and Alex Cuthbert are on the bench.



Head coach Warren Gatland said: “We’ve picked Joe at 12. He’s a lovely footballer with some great skills. I thought for his first cap he was outstanding so we’ve given him another opportunity. There’s some real competition in the midfield at the moment, so I’m really excited about that.

“There’s a mixture in the team of some experience, some younger players. We were conscious as well picking the bench. We think we’ve got a bench that can come on and have an impact.

“Ireland are the number one team in the world, so they’re going to be coming here with a lot of confidence. You don’t become the number one team in the world without having some pretty consistent performances. We know how good they are and we’re expecting a really tough contest. It’s important for us that we start well, but we need to be in the game at the last 20mins.

“We’ve only had a couple of weeks together but I’m confident that the guys will go out and give a good account of themselves. They’re pretty excited about playing this first game at home.”

Wales’ team to face Ireland in the opening Six Nations match on Saturday, February 4, 2023, 2.15pm kick off is: Leigh Halfpenny, Josh Adams, George North, Joe Hawkins, Rio Dyer, Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams, Gareth Thomas, Ken Owens (captain), Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Jac Morgan, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Dafydd Jenkins, Tommy Reffell, Rhys Webb, Owen Williams, Alex Cuthbert.