Hal Luscombe is named at outside centre after winning all his previous Welsh caps on the wing. Luscombe sat out the autumn internationals as he was nursing a broken thumb and is one of five changes Mike Ruddock has made to the team who defeated Australia last time out.
Ian Gough retains his place in the second row after impressing in the autumn while Michael Owen will win his 29th cap at No.8.
Ceri Sweeney and Gareth Cooper are both named on the bench for Saturday's opening Six Nations match, kick off 3.30pm.
Gareth Thomas (c), Mark Jones, Hal Luscombe, Matthew Watkins, Shane Williams, Stephen Jones, Dwayne Peel, Duncan Jones, Rhys Thomas, Adam Jones, Ian Gough, Robert Sidoli, Colin Charvis, Martyn Williams, Michael Owen.
Mefin Davies, Gethin Jenkins, Gareth Delve, Alix Popham, Gareth Cooper, Ceri Sweeney, Lee Byrne