Davies leads new-look Wales against Italy

Ruben Hill
February 9, 2019

Jonah Holmes will make his Six Nations debut with Wales this weekend after being named in the starting team to face Italy in Rome. Alun Wyn Jones has been rested and will sit on the bench for the clash against tournament underdogs Italy, with Jonathan Davies taking over captaincy duties.

Young, who won two caps on Wales' 2017 summer tour against Tonga and Samoa, lines up alongside back-row colleagues Aaron Wainwright and Josh Navidi in Rome.

The son of Wasps rugby director and former Wales prop Dai Young, Thomas Young has impressed in the English Premiership this season.

Wales, remember, did not exactly burst out of the blocks when it came to their opening Six Nations match last Friday, before that stirring second-half comeback in Paris followed.

Despite the changes, the front row is still strong with Samson Lee, Nicky Smith, and hooker Elliot Dee sharing almost 80 caps, and Dan Biggar, the British Lion, is at flyhalf.

Davies leads new-look Wales against Italy
Davies leads new-look Wales against Italy

But, as part of Gatland's squad rotation, several players who started against France are not in this week's matchday 23, including wing George North, centre Hadleigh Parkes and hooker Ken Owens.

On a winning streak since last March, Wales could equal the national record for successive wins set from 1907-10.

Warren Gatland made 10 changes from the team that beat France and tries from Josh Adams and Owen Watkin and 14 points from Dan Biggar sealed victory.

"We have made a similar number of changes to what we did a year ago, but it is all about opportunity for these players". They have some injuries and there is a turnaround of three days between games, so they will be utilising their full 31-man squad. He has a huge amount of experience, is a great leader and it is a great honour for him to lead his country.

For the same match previous year, Wales made 10 changes and gave the captaincy for the first time to Taulupe Faletau and they won at home by a convincing 38-14.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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