Jonathan Davies is back in the Wales starting XV for the first time in almost a year for Saturday’s opening November international against Scotland.
Davies last played versus Australia in November 2017 but has been absent from the international stage since due to an ankle injury.
The Scarlets man lines up alongside regional colleague Hadleigh Parkes at centre, while Ospreys wing Luke Morgan – Wales Sevens’ all-time leading try scorer – is given his debut.
Morgan will have experienced duo Leigh Halfpenny and George North for company in the hosts’ back three in Cardiff.
Gareth Anscombe is given the nod at fly-half, while Cardiff Blues’ Jarrod Evans could also win his first cap from the bench.
“We are looking forward to kicking off our autumn campaign on Saturday and it was great to welcome Warren back yesterday,” said Howley, with coach Gatland back in the country after returning to New Zealand following the death of his father.
“Warren has been in constant dialogue with us over the past week and we have selected a very strong squad for this weekend.
— Welsh Rugby Union (@WelshRugbyUnion) November 1, 2018
“It is great to reward players on form and we are looking forward to seeing Luke make his debut on the wing. He has come through the sevens system, he will bring a point of difference to the squad and it’s a great opportunity for him.
“Likewise it will be good to see Jarrod from the bench and hopefully seeing some x-factor from him.
“We have created good strength in depth, especially from the summer and have a nice balance bringing seven Lions back into the team.
“We are very respectful of this Scotland team and are looking forward to what should be a great opening match”
Wales XV to face Scotland: Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Luke Morgan, Gareth Anscombe, Gareth Davies; Nicky Smith, Ken Owens, Dillon Lewis, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.
Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rob Evans, Leon Brown, Adam Beard, Aaron Wainwright, Tomos Williams, Jarrod Evans, Steff Evans.
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