It's all change for Wales

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 11:49

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Dan Lydiate will captain Wales for a third time, as he leads his country in their first outing against Georgia in Cardiff on Saturday.

Lydiate is one of 14 personnel changes from the clash against Australia last weekend.

Liam Williams is the sole representative from the opening year-end encounter.

Williams switches to fullback in a new-look back three - alongside Alex Cuthbert and Hallam Amos.

In the midfield Owen Watkin, who made his debut last Saturday, partners Scott Williams - with Rhys Webb (No.9) alongside Rhys Priestland (No.10).

In the pack Leon Brown, who made his international bow against Australia, lines up alongside Nicky Smith and Kristian Dacey in the front row.  

Cory Hill and Adam Beard make-up the second row - with Lydiate packing down in a back row alongside Sam Cross at openside flank and Seb Davies at No.8.

"We felt this week was really important to give a number of the squad as much exposure as possible to Test match rugby," said Wales coach Warren Gatland.

"It is an exciting opportunity for some of the younger guys to take the field and show us what they are capable of.  We have got a fair amount of experience to throw into the mix too, both with players who have got  a decent number of cap numbers but also players who have been around this environment for a good while too."

"Georgia are coming to Cardiff on the back of a good victory last weekend and they will be looking to show what they can do on this stage and we have to be ready for that."

On the bench uncapped Dragons hooker Elliot Dee features in Wales' match-day squad for the first time with Wyn Jones and Tomas Francis the other front row replacements.

Josh Navidi and Taulupe Faletau complete the forward contingent.

Aled Davies, Dan Biggar and Owen Williams provide the backline cover.
 
Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Rhys Priestland, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Seb Davies, 7 Sam Cross, 6 Dan Lydiate (captain), 5 Cory Hill, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Leon Brown, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Josh Navidi, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Aled Davies, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Owen Williams.

Date: Saturday, November 18
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 14.30 (14.30 GMT; 18.30 Georgia time)
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant referees: Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Sean Gallagher (Ireland)
TMO: Leo Colgan (Ireland)