The knock-on effects of Josh Adams two-match ban following a breach of covid protocols has left Welsh fans and media guessing as to team selection for Ireland in the opening weekend of the Guinness Six Nations.
The 25-year-old made a visit to a family gathering against Covid protocols and has faced a predictable backlash since owning up to his indiscretion. Head coach Wayne Pivac names his side tomorrow for Sunday’s clash, with significant pressure resting on the New Zealander’s shoulders following a woeful 2020 campaign. The Wales coach badly needs a decent showing in the Six Nations and Adams’ bungle hasn’t helped matters.
“He has embarrassed himself, he has had to leave the team and he will do his penance at home,” Pivac said yesterday. “It came to our attention yesterday after training. As soon as it came to our attention, we spoke to the player and he was upfront and honest and realised the mistake he had made.”
Adams, a regular Welsh starter since cementing his place in the side in 2019, and his loss is significant, with Pivac now forced into a reshuffle.
There are two projected changes.
Firstly, Hallam Amos is set to swap in for Adams on the wing, according to Wales Online, with Louis Ree-Zammit on the opposite flank. He will slot straight in with back three-star Liam Williams still serving a three-game ban for his red card in the Scarlets’ Guinness PRO14 derby defeat by Cardiff Blues in January.
The ongoing George North experiment in the midfield is also set to continue. North, who has hit a fine vein of form in recent months for Ospreys, might have been the obvious choice to replace Adams, but it seems Pivac sees the 6’4, 109kg North Walian’s future in the centres.
North’s inclusion could come at the expense of fellow veteran Jonathan Davies, who has struggled for form and fitness in 2020, with Welsh media projecting he will be dropped from the starting fifteen at least.
Pivac still has young guns Jonny Williams, Nick Tompkins and Owen Watkins to call on, but it seems they’ll be fit around the experience of an out of position North. North started for Wales against Italy in centre in the last game of the Autumn Nations Cup.
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