CENTRE Jonathan Davies will start for Wales in their Guinness Six Nations showdown with England at Cardiff on Saturday, after being paired with fellow British Lion George North in the midfield.

The 32-year-old, who was brought up in Bancyfelin, has missed the opening two games of this year’s tournament through an ankle injury, but has been given the nod, in a choice of six centres.

Davies, a former pupil of Dyffryn Taf Comprehensive School in Whitland, has been capped 82 times for Wales, including two World Cup semi-finals, two Grand Slams and three Six Nations titles.

He was passed fit alongside the returning North and Johnny Williams, creating fierce competition for places with Owen Watkin, Nick Tompkins and Willis Halaholo, who were involved against Scotland.

Davies will line up in the more unfamiliar inside-centre position against England, although he formed the midfield partnership with North that started the Autumn Nations Cup victory against Italy.

North, at the age of 28, will overtake Australian captain Michael Hooper as the youngest player to reach 100 senior caps for their country, in what is a much-changed back division for Wales.

“Saturday is a great milestone for George (North), it is a huge achievement at his age, and we are looking forward to seeing him in action,” said Pivac on the Wales team announcement on Thursday.

"We think George has been playing well for us at 13, he brings a lot of excitement to the position - and Jonathan (Davies) also brings experience, I thought he did well at 12 against Italy.

"With a good week of preparation, we think Foxy is ready to start, he’s looked good in training."

Scrum-half Kieran Hardy starts ahead of Scarlets’ regional team-mate Gareth Davies, after coming on against Scotland, with first choice nine Tomos Williams sidelined with a hamstring problem.

The Wales coach has kept faith with Dan Biggar at fly half, although the dual-qualified Callum Sheedy will be itching to get involved after choosing to play for Wales, instead of Eddie Jones’ team.

Liam Williams will move from wing to full back in place of Leigh Halfpenny, who suffered concussion at Murrayfield, with Louis-Rees Zammit and the returning Josh Adams set to start on the wings.

Wales name an unchanged front-five with Wyn Jones, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis packing down in the front-row, and Adam Beard partnering captain Alun Wyn Jones in the second-row.

There is a return from injury for Josh Navidi, who replaces Aaron Wainwright at blindside flanker, with Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau keeping their starting places in the back row forwards.

Elliot Dee, Rhodri Jones and Leon Brown provide the front-row cover for Wales, with Cory Hill and James Botham completing the forward contingent, whilst Gareth Davies, Callum Sheedy and Uilisi Halaholo provide the back-line cover.

WALES: 15. Liam Williams, 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13. George North, 12. Jonathan Davies, 11. Josh Adams, 10. Dan Biggar, 9. Kieran Hardy, 1. Wyn Jones, 2. Ken Owens, 3. Tomas Francis, 4. Adam Beard, 5. Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 6. Josh Navidi, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Taulupe Faletau. Replacements: 16. Elliot Dee, 17. Rhodri Jones, 18. Leon Brown, 19. Cory Hill, 20. James Botham, 21. Gareth Davies, 22. Callum Sheedy, 23. Uilisi Halaholo.

ENGLAND: 15. Elliot Daly, 14. Anthony Watson, 13. Henry Slade, 12. Owen Farrell, 11. Jonny May, 10. George Ford, 9. Ben Youngs, 1. Mako Vunipola, 2. Jamie George, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Maro Itoje, 5. Jonny Hill, 6. Mark Wilson, 7. Tom Curry, 8. Billy Vunipola. Replacements: 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17. Ellis Genge, 18. Will Stuart,19. Charlie Ewels, 20. George Martin, 21. Ben Earl, 22. Dan Robson, 23. Max Malins.