Gareth and Johnny recalled for Wales’ Italian finale

Rob LloydNewyddion

Gareth Davies and Johnny McNicholl have been recalled to the Wales side for their Guinness Six Nations finale against Italy at the Principality Stadium on Saturday (KO 2.15pm live on BBC and S4C).

Davies comes in for his first start of the Championship at scrum-half, while McNicholl replaces Scarlets team-mate Liam Williams at full-back.

They are joined in the match-day 23 by prop Wyn Jones and scrum-half Kieran Hardy who are named among the replacements.

Captain Dan Biggar will win his 100th cap for Wales this weekend. Elsewhere, Alun Wyn Jones returns for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury against New Zealand in the autumn.  Jones will make his 150th appearance for Wales. 

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac said: “We’ve made a few changes this week. With one game to go there are some players we need to see out there and put them in the match day 23.

“We’ve certainly selected a side which we think can get the job done. Clearly that’s what we’re here for. There’s an opportunity to move up that table, so we think this is an exciting team and one we’re looking forward to seeing out there.

“Italy are a side that’s improving, they’ve had some bad luck here and there and with a new coach transitioning we know it takes a bit of time. 

“But we know they’ve got some very good rugby players and as you saw against Scotland they troubled them in that second half and for long periods of the first. So we’re going to have to be on our game and we’re very much looking forward to playing at home again this weekend.”

Wales senior men’s team to face Italy (Saturday 19 March, KO 2.15pm. Live on BBC and S4C)

15. Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets – 9 caps); 14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 15 caps). 13. Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 30 caps), 12. Uilisi Halaholo (Cardiff Rugby – 9 caps), 11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 38 caps);  10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints – 99 caps), captain; 9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets – 66 caps);  1. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 9 caps) 2. Dewi Lake (Ospreys – 4 caps), 3. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 37 caps), 4. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 33 caps), vice-captain, 5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys – 149 caps), 6. Seb Davies (Cardiff Rugby – 16 caps), 7. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Rugby – 29 caps), 8. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby – 88 caps)
Replacements: 16. Bradley Roberts (Ulster Rugby – 1 cap), 17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets – 42 caps), 18. Leon Brown (Dragons – 21 caps), 19. Will Rowlands (Dragons – 17 caps), 20. Ross Moriarty (Dragons – 53 caps), 21. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 10 caps), 22. Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears – 15 caps). 23. Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 19 caps)