April 23, 2021

Six Nations: Wales make two changes for match with Italy as Cory Hill and Gareth Davies come in

2 min read

Wayne Pivac has resisted calls to hand Bristol fly-half Callum Sheedy a Six Nations start, sticking with Dan Biggar for the Italy match this Saturday.

The Welsh head coach named his team for the Rome match two days early and only made two changes from the starting XV that beat England.

Lock Cory Hill is in for Adam Beard, with Jake Ball the replacement on the bench, and Gareth Davies starts at scrum-half, in for the injured Kieran Hardy.

Cory Hill (left) returns to the Wales side to face Italy on Saturday, replacing Adam Beard

Cory Hill (left) returns to the Wales side to face Italy on Saturday, replacing Adam Beard

Cory Hill (left) returns to the Wales side to face Italy on Saturday, replacing Adam Beard

Sheedy remains on the bench as Biggar is back at No 10 having overcome a leg tweak suffered in the England victory. He missed the Northampton Premiership defeat to Harlequins but is fit for his country.

Retaining all his top stars Pivac has selected a XV with a staggering 979 caps in it, yet again breaking the record for their most experience side ever fielded.

Alun Wyn Jones plays his 147th Test, George North his 101st and Dan Biggar his 91st, with Jonathan Davies, Taulupe Faletau, Justin Tipruic and Ken Owens all in the 80s.

Gareth Davies also come into the Wales side at scrum-half, replacing the injured Kieran Hardy

Gareth Davies also come into the Wales side at scrum-half, replacing the injured Kieran Hardy

Gareth Davies also come into the Wales side at scrum-half, replacing the injured Kieran Hardy

Wales are two wins from a fifth Six Nations Grand Slam – having completed clean sweeps in 2005, 2008, 2012 and 2019.

‘We are really looking forward to this weekend and are ready to get out there on Saturday,’ said Pivac.

‘Three from three is a great start but there has been plenty to do and plenty of work-ons.

Callum Sheedy (right) won't start and is named among the replacements for the game in Rome

Callum Sheedy (right) won't start and is named among the replacements for the game in Rome

Callum Sheedy (right) won’t start and is named among the replacements for the game in Rome

‘We’ve had a two week build up to this game, trained really well in the fallow week and are looking forward to round 4.’

On the bench Rhys Carré replaces the injured Rhodri Jones, who has picked up a calf injury now drops out of Wales’ Six Nations squad for Nicky Smith.

Lloyd Williams is the replacement scrum-half with Elliot Dee, Leon Brown, Aaron Wainwright and Willis Halaholo also substitutes.

Italy have not won a Six Nations match in 30 attempts, since 2015, and have only ever beaten Wales twice – in 2007 and 2003.

WALES TEAM TO PLAY ITALY 

1. Wyn Jones (33 Caps)

2. Ken Owens (80 Caps)

3. Tomas Francis (55 Caps)

4. Cory Hill (30 Caps)

5. Alun Wyn Jones (CAPT) (146 Caps)

6. Josh Navidi (26 Caps)

7. Justin Tipuric (83 Caps)

8. Taulupe Faletau (84 Caps)

9. Gareth Davies (60 Caps)

10. Dan Biggar (90 Caps)

11. Josh Adams (30 Caps)

12. Jonathan Davies (86 Caps)

13. George North (100 Caps)

14. Louis Rees-Zammit (7 Caps)

15. Liam Williams (69 Caps)

Replacements:

16. Elliot Dee (35 Caps)

17. Rhys Carre (12 Caps)

18. Leon Brown (15 Caps)

19. Jake Ball (49 Caps)

20. Aaron Wainwright (28 Caps)

21. Lloyd Williams (31 Caps)

22. Callum Sheedy (7 Caps)

23. Uilisi Halaholo (2 Cap)

 

Kick-off 2.15pm UK time/3.15pm local

Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Live on ITV and S4C

 

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