The 1-minute phone call that convinced Wales newcomer Sheedy to spurn England
Uncapped Bristol fly-half Callum Sheedy has been named in the Wales squad for their six-Test autumn schedule. Cardiff-born Sheedy, 24, also qualified for Ireland through his parents and England on residency, and he represented England in a non-cap game against the Barbarians last year.
He has been a pivotal figure behind Bristol’s qualification for the Gallagher Premiership play-offs and European Challenge Cup final this season, starring alongside high-profile imports like Semi Radradra and Charles Piutau.
And Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has now handed Sheedy a first senior call-up, selecting him and his Bristol team-mate Ioan Lloyd among seven uncapped players in a 38-strong squad. Pivac said: “It was about a one-minute phone call in relation to eligibility.
“He told me he was born in Cardiff, raised in Cardiff and he’s Welsh through and through, and I can tell by his accent. He was very, very keen to represent his country, and his country is Wales.
“We’ve had some well-documented injuries in the 10 position. Gareth (Anscombe) is out for a year, Rhys Patchell is just back from a long lay-off since the World Cup. He’s played about 13 minutes of rugby. So we are always looking at depth in that position. Callum has been playing well for Bristol, and we think he has a good all-round game. He has a big future in front of him.”
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Sheedy and Lloyd will be joined by fellow Test rookies Louis Rees-Zammit, Johnny Williams, Kieran Hardy, Sam Parry and Josh Macleod for the autumn programme. Wales face a friendly against France in Paris on October 24, followed by the delayed Guinness Six Nations appointment with Scotland seven days later, then four Autumn Nations Cup fixtures, including games against Ireland and England.
Ex-London Irish and Newcastle player Williams, who was born in Weston-super-Mare but whose father is from Rhyl, also featured for an England XV in the 2019 Barbarians match, scoring a try. Wales World Cup 2019 squad members Tomas Francis, Rhys Patchell and Jonathan Davies are all back after injury, but injuries sideline Rob Evans, Aaron Shingler, Tomos Williams, Owen Lane and Johnny McNicholl.
Pivac said: “We are looking forward to getting back to international rugby and getting the squad together again. This campaign is hugely important looking to the future and long term to the (World Cup) in 2023. We kick off the campaign with a game against France, which will help prepare us for the rearranged Six Nations match versus Scotland, which is an important game and important we get a good performance from.
“We then go into the Autumn Nations Cup, which is an exciting tournament and a great opportunity for us. It is a chance for us to continue developing our game, give opportunities to players and test them at this level.”
Wales name 38-strong squad, nab Sheedy off England https://t.co/Fzw4zu8qjN
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) October 6, 2020
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