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Title-chasing Wales make two changes to their Six Nations XV to face Italy

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Grand Slam-chasing Wales have made two changes to their XV to play Italy next Saturday in Rome, bringing Cory Hill and Gareth Davies into the side that beat England on February 27 to make it three wins from three in the 2021 Guinness Six Nations. Hill is the only change in the Triple Crown-winning pack, taking over from Adam Beard to partner captain Alun Wyn Jones in the second row.


The front row remains unchanged for the fourth successive game with Wyn Jones, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis packing down together. Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau comprise the back row.

Davies, meanwhile, comes in to start at scrum-half alongside Dan Biggar, repacing the injured Kieran Hardy. Jonathan Davies and George North continue their Six Nations partnership in the Wales midfield with Josh Adams, Louis Rees-Zammit and Liam Williams named in the back three.

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“We are really looking forward to this weekend and are ready to get out there on Saturday,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac. “Three from three is a great start but there has been plenty to do and plenty of work-ons. We have had a two-week build-up to this game, trained really well in the fallow week and are looking forward to round four.”

Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre and Leon Brown comprise the front row replacements. Jake Ball, who could win his 50th test cap in Rome and Aaron Wainwright complete the forward contingent. Lloyd Williams, Callum Sheedy and Uilisi Halaholo provide the backline cover.

Rhodri Jones has been released from the squad due to a calf injury suffered at training. He has been replaced by Ospreys prop Nicky Smith. Meanwhile, the following players will be released back to their respective regions for this weekend and will link back up with the national squad on Monday: Jarrod Evans, Owen Watkin, Johnny Williams, Nick Tompkins.


WALES (vs Italy, Saturday)
1. Wyn Jones (33 caps)
2. Ken Owens (80 caps)
3. Tomas Francis (55 caps)
4. Cory Hill (30 caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (capt – 146 caps)
6. Josh Navidi (26 caps)
7. Justin Tipuric (83 caps)
8. Taulupe Faletau (84 caps)
9. Gareth Davies (60 caps)
10. Dan Biggar (90 caps)
11. Josh Adams (30 caps)
12. Jonathan Davies (86 caps)
13. George North (100 caps)
14. Louis Rees-Zammit (7 caps)
15. Liam Williams (69 caps)
16. Elliot Dee (35 caps)
17. Rhys Carre (12 caps)
18. Leon Brown (15 caps)
19. Jake Ball (49 caps)
20. Aaron Wainwright (28 caps) 
21. Lloyd Williams (31 caps)
22. Callum Sheedy (7 caps)
23. Uilisi Halaholo (2 caps)


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