WALES boss Warren Gatland is confident of Cory Hill getting the green light for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with England after the Dragons lock suffered a head injury against Scotland.

The Rodney Parade region’s skipper was named in an unchanged XV for the trip to Twickenham but will continue to go through the return to play protocols after the blow approaching the hour in the thumping win at Principality Stadium.

He was replaced by Bradley Davies in Cardiff after a superb performance, arguably his best on the Test stage, in which he impressed in the tight and with ball in hand, playing a key role in Leigh Halfpenny’s try to make it 14-0.

Hill has been named in the side for round two and his regional teammate Elliot Dee keeps his place as back-up to Lions hooker Ken Owens after a third lively international cameo off the bench versus the Scots.

Gatland is expecting to be able to field the Dragons man next to captain Alun Wyn Jones in the boilerhouse at Twickenham.

“He is still going through the protocols at the moment and is back doing some bike work and swimming, he should be fully training on Thursday,” said Gatland.

The hope is that Hill will get the go-ahead to lead the charge against an England side that excel at the lineout in both attack and defence.

“We have spoken about England’s strength and some of the variations they used, with break-out plays and using Mako Vunipola for passing,” said Gatland.

“They are a strong driving threat so we have to negate that, and we have got to get up in the air and compete as well.”

As expected, Dragons speedster Hallam Amos has to bide his time for a return to the Test team.

The winger had an impressive autumn campaign but hasn’t played since suffering an ankle injury in the Dragons’ Boxing Day defeat to Cardiff Blues in Newport.

Warren Gatland makes just one change with wing/centre George North replacing Owen Watkin on the bench after impressing on his return from knee trouble for Northampton last weekend.

That means a second cap for in-form Worcester wing Josh Adams, who impressed in Cardiff despite suffering a blow to his leg in the second half.

“We felt that the starting XV deserved another chance,” said Gatland. “We were happy with Josh Adams’ debut and if we are going to find out about a player at the next level then we will find out about him this weekend.

“Giving him a chance, we will know more about him against a quality opposition. He is fit now, he got a knock on the knee and that’s why George has come in on the bench to cover the back three and midfield.”

Lions full-back Liam Williams has trained fully this week but won’t be thrown straight back into the Test arena after recovering from an abdominal injury suffered in the autumn.

“He said he needs to play so will play for Saracens and probably get some game time against next week,” said Gatland.


Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (75 Caps)

Josh Adams (Worcester) (1 Cap)

Scott Williams (Scarlets) (52 Caps)

Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (2 Caps)

Steff Evans (Scarlets) (6 Caps)

Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) (6 Caps)

Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (28 Caps)

Rob Evans (Scarlets) (21 Caps)

Ken Owens (Scarlets) (53 Caps)

Samson Lee (Scarlets) (34 Caps)

Cory Hill (Dragons) (11 Caps)

Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (114 Caps) CAPT

Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (14 Caps)

Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (8 Caps)

Ross Moriarty (Gloucester) (18 Caps)


Elliot Dee (Dragons) (3 Caps)

Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (6 Caps)

Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (27 Caps)

Bradley Davies (Ospreys) (58 Caps)

Justin Tipuric (Ospreys)  (53 Caps)

Aled Davies (Scarlets) (6 Caps)

Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues) (12 Caps)

George North (Northampton Saints) (69 Caps)