While North is an accomplished Test player, few see him as a comfortable centre, as opposed to Saracens’ Tompkins, who is.
The second is the absence of teenage sensation Louis Rees-Zammit, who misses out on the matchday 23 altogether.
The hysteria surrounding the Gloucester winger over the past few weeks has barely been seen before for a player so young.
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New Wales coach Wayne Pivac expects a strong start to Six Nations from his team
It reached fever pitch with the apparent battle with England which ensued, as both nations tried to cap him first.
The 18-year-old pledged his allegiance to Wales, but much of the Welsh public wanted to see him capped on Saturday.
Oh come on… at least a bench spot for Louis Rees-Zammit#gutted
— Joe Wheeler (@WheelerJoseph) January 30, 2020
Seriously disappointed there’s no Zammit! Mature and ready, 1st game at home to Italy, will be harder to to give him game time until round three now.
— Ian Martin Williams (@DGR1978) January 30, 2020
Good team, but would’ve been good time to play Zammit!
— Declan??????? (@DeclanDrum) January 30, 2020
Josh Adams was never going to be dropped given his form in red over the past year, but there seems to be a split between who should have started out of Rees-Zammit and Johnny McNicholl, both of whom would be earning their first cap.
Pivac has opted for the New Zealand-born winger, which is understandable as he not only coached him at the Scarlets, but this is off the back of high-level performances for a while now in contrast to Rees-Zammit’s recent, albeit monumental, rise to fame.
Disappointed to say the least. Gareth Davies not in Squad? no Zammit. Perfect game for him. Off bench in 60 mins. North best have game of his life. Webb??great player but needs to show form. Lewis as well . Best get positive . Good luck Wales ???????
— Stuart Griffiths (@stuart73g) January 30, 2020
Shame not to see Zammit in the Squad. If you’re good enough you’re old enough. Would have loved to see him come on 2nd half when legs are tiring
— Mike (@brynybrath) January 30, 2020
While some feel the Gloucester wing was worthy of a place on the bench, the outside back spot has been taken by Tompkins, who is perhaps more worthy given the question marks lingering over North at outside centre.
No @LouisReesZammit ??? ??? You jokers!!!
— Dave Kinder (@SupernovaDave) January 30, 2020
Where is Louis Rees-Zammit?? pic.twitter.com/Hd2IYfxuuf
— ? ? (@eblouissantkook) January 30, 2020
It had been said that Italy would have been a good opportunity to hand Rees-Zammit his debut, as it usually isn’t as rigorous a Test as the other matches, but the same applies to both McNicholl and Tompkins. Then again, for a player that only turns 19 on Sunday, Rees-Zammit has plenty of time.
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