Johnny Williams will be officially captured by Wales as Wayne Pivac names three uncapped players in his starting XV to face Georgia at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday. Flanker James Botham (the grand son of English cricketing legend Sir Ian Botham), scrum-half Kieran Hardy and centre Williams will all earn their first cap in Llanelli.
There are more milestones in the starting line-up as Wales continues to look to the future and build towards the next Rugby World Cup cycle, with Callum Sheedy and Louis Rees-Zammit both starting for their country.
The seasoned front-rows of Wyn Jones, Elliot Dee and Samson Lee are named alongside Jake Ball and Seb Davies in the second row.
Botham, who trained with the national squad as part of this year’s Guinness Six Nations, will make his debut alongside captain Justin Tipuric and Aaron Wainwright.
Hardy will make his debut at his regional home ground and partner Sheedy who starts at fly-half for the first time.
Williams will be partnered on his first appearance by Nick Tompkins in the midfield with Rees-Zammit, Johnny McNicholl and Liam Williams comprising the back-three.
“Saturday is a huge opportunity for the players and for us as a squad looking ahead to the future and to RWC 2023,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac. “As we have said all along, the Autumn Nations Cup is a great platform for us to give opportunities to players, to build depth and experience.
“It’s a great honour for the new caps and the players making their first starts, they have trained well and deserve this opportunity to represent their country.”
Sam Parry, Nicky Smith and Leon Brown provide the front-row cover on the bench with Cory Hill and James Davies completing the forward contingent. Rhys Webb, uncapped Ioan Lloyd and Jonah Holmes provide the back-line cover.
WALES TEAM TO PLAY GEORGIA
1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (27 Caps)
2. Elliot Dee (Dragons) (30 Caps)
3. Samson Lee (Scarlets) (43 Caps)
4. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (47 Caps)
5. Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues) (8 Caps)
6. James Botham (Cardiff Blues) (*Uncapped)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (78 Caps) (CAPT)
8. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (24 Caps)
9. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets) (*Uncapped)
10. Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears) (1 Cap)
11. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester) (1 Cap)
12. Johnny Williams (Scarlets) (*Uncapped)
13. Nick Tompkins (Dragons) (6 Caps)
14. Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) (4 Caps)
15. Liam Williams (Scarlets) (65 Caps)
16. Sam Parry (Ospreys) (2 Caps)
17. Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (36 Caps)
18. Leon Brown (Dragons) (10 Caps)
19. Cory Hill (Cardiff Blues) (27 Caps)
20. James Davies (Scarlets) (9 Caps)
21. Rhys Webb (Ospreys) (34 Caps)
22. Ioan Lloyd (Bristol Bears) (*Uncapped)
23. Jonah Holmes (Dragons) (3 Caps)
George North has been released back to his region (Ospreys) for action this weekend.
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