Eight Scarlets named by Wales for Autumn Nations Cup opener

Rob Lloyd News

Scarlets forwards Samson Lee and Jake Ball are recalled to the Wales squad for Friday’s Autumn Nations Cup opener against Ireland in Dublin (19:00ko).

Lee has recovered from a head knock, while Ball is set for his first appearance of the campaign. Both players are named among the replacements, along with Scarlets prop Wyn Jones.

Five Scarlets retain their place in the starting line-up following the defeat to Scotland at Parc y Scarlets last time out. Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies and Gareth Davies are named in an unchanged backline, while Ryan Elias continues at hooker.

Elsewhere, prop Tomas Francis will win his 50th cap and captain Alun Wyn Jones will make his 150th test appearance (141st appearance for Wales, plus nine British & Irish Lions caps).

“Friday night is the start of a new international season and a new campaign and we are looking forward to getting out there and showing what we can do,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.

“We have got four matches in the Autumn Nations Cup to perform and we are excited to be kicking the tournament off.”

Uncapped Bristol Bears fly-half Callum Sheedy is named in the matchday squad for the first time. Sheedy is joined on the bench by Lloyd Williams and George North, the latter in line for his 100th test appearance if he takes to the field (currently on 96 Wales caps plus three British & Irish Lions).


15 Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets); 14 Liam Williams (Scarlets), 13 Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), 12 Owen Watkin (Ospreys), 11 Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues); 10 Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints), 9 Gareth Davies (Scarlets); 1 Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), 2 Ryan Elias (Scarlets), 3 Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), 4 Will Rowlands (Wasps), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), 6 Shane Lewis-Hughes (Cardiff Blues), 7 Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), 8 Taulupe Faletau (Bath).

Replacements16 Elliot Dee (Dragons), 17 Wyn Jones (Scarlets), 18 Samson Lee (Scarlets), 19 Jake Ball (Scarlets), 20 Aaron Wainwright (Dragons), 21 Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), 22 Callum Sheedy (Bristol), 23 George North (Ospreys).