NUMBER eight Ross Moriarty has been thrown straight into the Wales XV for the Six Nations opener with France after seven weeks out, while Dragons teammates Cory Hill, Elliot Dee and Aaron Wainwright will be on the bench in Paris on Friday.

Moriarty has not played since suffering a concussion in the European Challenge Cup defeat at Clermont Auvergne on December 15.

However, the combative back row forward will start in the tournament opener at Stade de France to provide some oomph in the absence of injured number eight Taulupe Faletau.

He joins forces with Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi with Aaron Wainwright hoping for a Six Nations debut as a replacement.

The 21-year-old from Bassaleg, who only made his Dragons debut in October, 2017, will win his fourth cap if he comes on in Paris.

Lock Hill has to be content with a place on the bench as back up to Alun Wyn Jones and Adam Beard, who got the nod as the captain’s partner in the autumn wins against Australia and South Africa.

Dee continues as cover for Lions hooker Ken Owens but there is no place in the 23 for wing/full-back Hallam Amos with centre Owen Watkin preferred among the replacements.

Cardiff Blues scrum-half Tomos Williams is given the start ahead of Gareth Davies while Josh Adams is selected on the wing with Liam Williams starting at full-back in the absence of Leigh Halfpenny (concussion).

Exeter tighthead Tomas Francis is preferred to Samson Lee after some strong scrummaging displays for the Chiefs and an impressive autumn campaign.

Warren Gatland's men head to Paris hunting a 10th successive Test win with the head coach keen to build momentum in the tournament.

"We are looking forward to kicking off the Six Nations and kicking off our 2019 campaign as a whole," he said.

"We come into the game on an impressive run of results but we know how tough it will be to face France in Paris in the tournament opener.

"It will be a huge contest but we are excited going into it. We have a great deal of experience across the team and on the bench and we want to kick things off well on Friday."