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Five Dragons to face Georgia

19/11/2020

Dragons trio Elliot Dee, Aaron Wainwright and Nick Tompkins will start for Wales in Saturday's Autumn Nations Cup clash against Georgia (kick-off 5.15pm). Regional team-mates Leon Brown and Jonah Holmes are named among the replacements.

Flanker James Botham, scrum-half Kieran Hardy and centre Johnny Williams will all earn their first cap in Llanelli.

There are further milestones in the starting line-up as Wales continue to look to the future and build for the next Rugby World Cup cycle, with Callum Sheedy and Louis Rees-Zammit both making their first starts for their country.

An experienced front-row of Wyn Jones, Dee and Samson Lee are named with Jake Ball and Seb Davies packing down in the second-row.

Botham, who trained with the national squad as part of this year’s Guinness Six Nations, will make his debut in the back-row, alongside captain Justin Tipuric and 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 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 (Saturday November 21 KO17.15):

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets) (65 Caps)

14. Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) (4 Caps)

13. Nick Tompkins (Dragons) (6 Caps)

12. Johnny Williams (Scarlets) (*Uncapped)

11. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester) (1 Cap)

10. Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears) (1 Cap)

9. Kieran Hardy (Scarlets) (*Uncapped)

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)

REPLACEMENTS:

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)

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...
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