Ian Gough, the Newport Rugby second row forward, will start his first international of this season's Lloyds TSB Six Nations Championship when he packs down with Swansea's Andy Moore against Italy at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 2.00 pm).
Gough, who came on as a replacement against both Ireland and France, takes over from the injured Craig Quinnell with fit again Chris Wyatt (Llanelli) on the replacements bench.
In the only other change from the starting line-up against France, Ebbw Vale prop Iestyn Thomas takes over from Spencer John on the loosehead as Wales go in search of their first win of the 2002 tournament.
Thomas broke a toe early in the match against Tonga on 17 November, 2001, but has forced his way back into the front row after impressing for Wales A in the 17-6 victory over France A 12 days ago.
"It was a frustrating time for me when I suffered the injury but since then I have had a good run of games," said Thomas, who will win his 10th cap on Saturday. "I am just glad I have done enough to be back in the national team."
Gough, who will be playing in his 19th Test, said: "It is great to be back in the starting line-up, it gives you the chance to make your mark on the match and I just hope to be part of a successful Wales team."
Coach Steve Hansen, in charge for his second international, has given a blanket vote of confidence to the back division.
Scrum half Rob Howley will win his 57th cap on Saturday - putting him up into the "Big Five" on the Welsh international appearance chart, one ahead of Gareth Thomas and behind only Neil Jenkins (84), Ieuan Evans (72), Gareth Llewellyn (64) and Garin Jenkins (58).
LLOYDS TSB SIX NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP 2002
WALES v ITALY, Millennium Stadium Saturday, 2nd March Kick-off: 2.00 pm
15 Kevin Morgan (Swansea)
14 Dafydd James (Bridgend)
13 Tom Shanklin (Saracens)
12 Andy Marinos (Newport Rugby)
11 Craig Morgan (Cardiff)
10 Stephen Jones (Llanelli)
9 Robert Howley (Cardiff)
1 Iestyn Thomas (Ebbw Vale)
2 Robin McBryde (Llanelli)
3 Chris Anthony (Newport Rugby)
4 Ian Gough (Newport Rugby)
5 Andy Moore (Swansea)
6 Nathan Budgett (Bridgend)
7 Martyn Williams (Cardiff)
8 Scott Quinnell (Llanelli, captain)
16 Barry Williams (Neath)
17 Spencer John (Cardiff)
18 Chris Wyatt (Llanelli)
19 Brett Sinkinson (Neath)
20 Dwayne Peel (Llanelli)
21 Iestyn Harris (Cardiff)
22 Rhys Williams (Cardiff)
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.