Liam Williams will step into his role at full back after fully recovering from a finger injury. A double British & Irish Lions tourist, he on course to win his 82nd Wales cap.
What’s the update on Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams?
JH: Unfortunately, Leigh has a back spasm this morning, so he is out, and Liam will be playing. It is disappointing for Leigh, as a person, he has had a couple of these recently and he is an unbelievable professional and unbelievable person. We feel for him and having to pull out at this late stage again. Liam is good to go, and Alex Cuthbert comes on to the bench.
What is the mood in the camp ahead of the Six Nations opener against Ireland on Saturday?
JH: It has been a really good two weeks. We have had new coaches come in and we have gelled pretty quickly and got our messages across and we have a good and positive feeling in the camp.
What difference has Warren Gatland made since he has returned?
JH: Gats has tonnes of experience and he knows what he wants and he knows how to get coaches working together and on the same page very quickly. It has been really good and we are really clear about how we want to play and how we want to play against the best team in the world right now, Ireland.
What can we expect from Wales against Ireland?
JH: We have to play what is in front of us and that is key to any team. We are playing against a very, very good team and we have to be prepared to accept what is in front or us. First and foremost, we have to be very combative and very physical. If we are not against Ireland, they can put you away really easily. We have to be as physical as we can.
What are the players thinking ahead of the challenge of Ireland and the Six Nations?
JH: As a player and a coach, we focus on the task ahead of us. The players have been incredible, and we all know we have a job to do, and we will do it to the best of our ability. That is the focus for all of us.
How much has it helped that so many of the players are familiar with Warren?
JH: It’s definitely helped. Warren is very clear on what he wants and how we are supposed to behave and act. The players know what is expected of them in training and when it comes to the game. It has been a good transition.