Wyn Jones returns to Wales side for Italian test

Rob LloydNews

Wyn Jones returns to the Wales starting line-up for the clash with Italy in Rome in the fourth round of the Guinness Six Nations. (KO 2.15pm GMT live on ITV and S4C).

The loose-head prop comes in as one of seven changes to the starting line-up that was beaten by England in Cardiff last time out. The British & Irish Lion joins skipper Ken Owens in the run-on side.

Head coach Warren Gatland said: “We feel that having watched Italy and how they’ll tend to play from everywhere, including their own 22, getting guys on the ball is going to be pretty important.

“Rhys Webb gets an opportunity at nine having been training well. He’s been great in the squad, he brings that experience and a voice to that nine position.

“Liam Williams comes in at full back. We did discuss whether we put Louis Rees-Zammit to full-back and how that would have looked. But he still hasn’t played a lot of rugby in terms of coming back from a relatively long injury with his ankle and we just felt with the way the game’s going to be and the pace of the game, that him coming off the bench and the impact he can have could be pretty important.

“We’ve been disappointed with the results so far and for me it’s hard to take as it’s the first time I’ve lost three games in the Six Nations with Wales. We’ve had a lot of things going on off the field as well but there are no excuses.

“The message to the players has been that we have to be smart in terms of the way we play but we’ve also got to be brave and make sure that when the opportunities are on we shift the ball. We have to keep scanning and looking at options and if there’s a chance to move the ball then be brave and do that.”

Wales senior men’s XV to play Italy in the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, Saturday, March 11 (KO 2.15pm GMT. Live on ITV and S4C)

15. Liam Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 83 caps); 14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 47 caps), 13. Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby – 1 cap), 12. Joe Hawkins (Ospreys – 4 caps), 11. Rio Dyer (Dragons – 5 caps); 10. Owen Williams (Ospreys – 5 caps), 9. Rhys Webb (Ospreys – 38 caps); 1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets – 46 caps), 2. Ken Owens (Scarlets – 89 caps) captain. 3. Tomas Francis (Ospreys – 69 caps), 4. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 44 caps), 5. Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs – 4 caps), 6. Jac Morgan (Ospreys – 8 caps), 7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys – 91 caps), 8. Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby – 98 caps).

Reps: 16. Scott Baldwin (Ospreys – 36 caps), 17. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 19 caps), 18. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 48 caps), 19. Rhys Davies (Ospreys – 1 cap), 20. Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 7 caps), 21. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 43 caps). 22. George North (Ospreys – 111 caps), 23. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 23 caps).