Wales Starting 3 New Caps Vs Georgia Among 13 Changes
CARDIFF, Wales: Wales has picked three uncapped players in the starting XV and another in the reserves to face Georgia on Saturday in Llanelli in the Autumn Nations Cup.
Wales was on a six-test losing streak following a 32-9 defeat to Ireland in Dublin last week, but coach Wayne Pivac said a lot of changes were planned for the Georgia game and followed through on Thursday.
There were 13 changes to the starting side. Only flanker Justin Tipuric, also given the captaincy, and fullback Liam Williams were retained.
Flanker James Botham, the grandson of cricket great Ian Botham, scrumhalf Kieran Hardy and center Johnny Williams will earn their first caps.
Flyhalf Callum Sheedy and Louis Rees-Zammit will make their first starts after debuts this autumn.
Bristol flyhalf Ioan Lloyd, aged 19, could also make his debut from the reserves.
Pivac said the selection was all part of his planning to develop depth for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
The Autumn Nations Cup is a great platform for us to give opportunities to players, to build depth and experience, Pivac said.
The new caps and the players making their first starts have trained well and deserve this opportunity to represent their country.
Wales: Liam Williams, Johnny McNicholl, Nick Tompkins, Johnny Williams, Louis Rees-Zammit, Callum Sheedy, Kieran Hardy; Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric (captain), James Botham, Seb Davies, Jake Ball, Samson Lee, Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones. Reserves: Sam Parry, Nicky Smith, Leon Brown, Cory Hill, James Davies, Rhys Webb, Ioan Lloyd, Jonah Holmes.
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