Johnny McNicholl to make first Wales appearance

Rob Lloyd News

Johnny McNicholl will make his first Wales appearance as one of nine Scarlets named in the match-day 23 to take on the Barbarians in Cardiff on Saturday (2.45pm kick-off).

McNicholl is selected on the wing in Wayne Pivac’s first side of his reign and is joined by regional team-mates Leigh Halfpenny, Hadleigh Parkes, Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Jake Ball, Aaron Shingler, Rob Evans and Gareth Davies.

Justin Tipuric will lead Wales in the absence of Alun Wyn Jones.

“This week has been hugely exciting and hugely important for us as a group,” said Pivac.

“It has been an opportunity for us as a new squad and management to get together and to set the scene for what the future holds. 

“There has been quite a lot of learnings for the squad this week, looking at what we are trying to do and us providing some clarity but we have also stressed the enjoyment factor of being together for the first time and the excitement of not only this weekend but the future.

“This weekend itself is really exciting. The Barbarians are what rugby is all about. It is the fun element of the game and supporters should be looking forward to some good old fashioned running rugby and it should be an entertaining afternoon.

“It is fantastic to have a double header at the Stadium with Wales Women and it should be a great showcase of rugby.”

The women’s match sees four Scarlets Ladies selected.

Flanker Bethan Lewis starts, while Ffion Lewis, Alex Callender and Gwenllian Jenkins are named among the replacements.

Wales v Barbarians (Saturday 30 November, Principality Stadium, 2.45pm)

Leigh Halfpenny; Johnny McNicholl, Owen Watkin, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams; Jarrod Evans, Tomos Williams; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Aaron Shingler, Justin Tipuric (capt), Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rob Evans, Leon Brown, Seb Davies, Ollie Griffiths, Gareth Davies, Sam Davies, Owen Lane.

Wales Women v Barbarians (Saturday 30 November, Principality Stadium, 11.45am)
Lauren Smyth; Paige Randall, Megan Webb, Kerin Lake, Lisa Neumann; Elinor Snowsill, Keira Bevan; Gwenllian Pyrs, Kelsey Jones , Cerys Hale, Natalia John, Gwen Crabb, Robyn Lock, Bethan Lewis, Siwan Lillicrap (capt)

Replacements: Molly Kelly, Gwenllian Jenkins, Amy Evans, Abbie Fleming, Alex Callender, Ffion Lewis, Robyn Wilkins, Kayleigh Powell