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The URC 'double boost' that is music to the ears of Wayne Pivac

By PA
(Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has received a double boost ahead of the autumn Tests with Leigh Halfpenny and Ken Owens set to make their Scarlets comebacks. Full-back Halfpenny will start Saturday’s United Rugby Championship game against Benetton in Italy, and hooker Owens is among the replacements as Scarlets chase their first league win of the season.

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Halfpenny has not played since suffering a knee injury when Wales beat Canada 15 months ago. It was his 100th Test appearance for Wales and the British and Irish Lions. But 33-year-old Halfpenny’s return will now be a timely one with Pivac having lost Liam Williams for the entire autumn series due to a collar bone injury that required surgery.

Owens, meanwhile, has had a back problem. He made his last Scarlets appearance in October 2021 and has not represented Wales since the Six Nations campaign earlier that year. The 35-year-old played a half for Welsh Premiership side Carmarthen Quins last weekend and came through unscathed.

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Wales kick off their autumn programme against New Zealand on November 5 before hosting Argentina, Georgia and Australia.

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