Tomos Williams will make his Six Nations debut against France in Paris on Friday night after getting the nod for the scrum-half spot.
The Cardiff Blues ace has been picked ahead of Gareth Davies – who starts on the bench – by head coach Warren Gatland.
Gatland has made just three changes to the team that beat South Africa last November despite Wales’ injury issues over the past few weeks.
Wales, who finished second in the tournament in 2018, are on a nine-game winning streak with Gatland believing they can go on and win his final Six Nations campaign as coach if they win in Paris.
“We are looking forward to kicking off the Six Nations and kicking off our 2019 campaign as a whole,” said WalesGatland.
“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.”
Dragons No 8 Ross Moriarty will start despite the British Lions back rower not having played since December 15 due to concussion issues.
Moriarty will line-up alongside the returning Josh Navidi and Justin Tipuric and are the most experienced trio available to the selectors given the injuries.
Williams will have Blues team-mate Gareth Anscombe alongside him at outside-half with Alun Wyn James skippering Wales at lock in his 49th appearance in the tournament.
In the front-row Rob Evans and Tomas Francis pack down alongside Ken Owens who becomes Wales’ most capped hooker, making his 61st appearance for his county.
Scarlets duo Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies continue their partnership in midfield with Josh Adams, George North and Liam Williams comprising the back-three.
Wales will head to Nice after Friday’s game where the 31-man squad will prepare to face Italy in Rome on Saturday, 9 February.
France have named 19-year-old centre Romain Ntamack ahead of the vastly-experienced Mathieu Bastareaud at centre.
Wales: Liam Williams (Saracens); George North (Ospreys), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), Josh Adams (Worcester); Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues); Rob Evans (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, captain), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Dragons).
Replacements: Elliot Dee (Dragons), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Cory Hill (Dragons), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Owen Watkin (Ospreys).