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Three debutants in Wales XV to face Georgia

Three debutants in Wales XV to face Georgia

Three debutants in Wales XV to face Georgia

Wales have named three uncapped players in their starting XV to take on Georgia in the Autumn Nations Cup on Saturday.

Flanker James Botham – grandson of England cricket legend Sir Ian – will make his senior international bow at Parc y Scarlets along with Kieran Hardy, who takes the No.9 jersey, and inside centre Johnny Williams.

A fourth potential debutant, Ioan Lloyd, is named among the replacements as Wayne Pivac’s side look to end a run of six straight defeats.

Pivac has also handed first international starts to Bristol Bears fly-half Callum Sheedy and Gloucester wing Louis Rees-Zammit for the Group A clash in Llanelli.

Justin Tipuric takes on the captaincy in the absence of Alun Wyn Jones and joins Botham and Aaron Wainwright in the back row.

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Wyn Jones, Elliot Dee and Samson Lee form an experienced front row, with Jake Ball and Seb Davies completing the pack.

Behind them, Scarlets scrum-half Hardy will make his Wales bow on his home ground and partners Sheedy in a new half-back pairing.

Debutant Williams and Nick Tompkins start in midfield, with Johnny McNicholl and Liam Williams joining Rees-Zammit in the back three.

“Saturday is a huge opportunity for the players and for us as a squad looking ahead to the future and to the 2023 World Cup,” said Pivac.

“As we have said all along, the Autumn Nations Cup is a great platform for us to give opportunities to players, to build depth and experience.

“It’s a great honour for the new caps and the players making their first starts, they have trained well and deserve this opportunity to represent their country.”

George North, who won his 100th Test cap in Dublin in Round 1, has been released back to his region (Ospreys) for action this weekend.

Wales team to play Georgia
15. Liam Williams (Scarlets) (65 caps)
14. Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) (4 caps)
13. Nick Tompkins (Dragons) (6 caps)
12. Johnny Williams (Scarlets) (uncapped)
11. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester) (1 cap)
10. Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears) (1 cap)
9. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets) (uncapped)
1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (27 caps)
2. Elliot Dee (Dragons) (30 caps)
3. Samson Lee (Scarlets) (43 caps)
4. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (47 caps)
5. Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues) (8 caps)
6. James Botham (Cardiff Blues) (uncapped)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (78 caps) (CAPTAIN)
8. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (24 caps)

Replacements:
16. Sam Parry (Ospreys) (2 caps)
17. Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (36 caps)
18. Leon Brown (Dragons) (10 caps)
19. Cory Hill (Cardiff Blues) (27 caps)
20. James Davies (Scarlets) (9 caps)
21. Rhys Webb (Ospreys) (34 caps)
22. Ioan Lloyd (Bristol Bears) (uncapped)
23. Jonah Holmes (Dragons) (3 caps)

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