Rugby

Wales head coach Pivac names shock Six Nations squad

Wales have named uncapped Scarlets backrow Josh Macleod of their 36-man squad for the Six Nations, whereas there’s a recall for loose-forward Dan Lydiate, who final featured three years in the past.

Monaco-born Macleod is a former Wales Underneath-20 worldwide who performs as an openside flanker and is extensively regarded for his defensive work.

There are few surprises within the choice from coach Wayne Pivac, who has endured a troublesome first 12 months accountable for the facet after changing Warren Gatland, however is optimistic better days are ahead for Wales on this 12 months’s Six Nations.

Scrumhalf Kieran Hardy, flyhalf Callum Sheedy, centre Johnny Williams and wing Louis Rees-Zammit have been retained after impressing within the Autumn Internationals on the finish of final 12 months, whereas influential scrumhalf Tomos Williams will return to the squad after being injured.

“The Six Nations is a crucial match and we have now chosen a squad accordingly,” Pivac mentioned in a press release.

“As we constantly spoke about, the autumn for us was about alternative and improvement, waiting for the Rugby World Cup in 2023, and it served that function for us.

“This marketing campaign is totally different, it’s match rugby and we’re excited to get going and to play our half. We have now picked a squad for this match based mostly on kind and we’re excited to satisfy up on Monday and to get our preparation underway.”

Unfastened-forward Ross Moriarty is considered one of plenty of damage absentees, together with flyhalves Gareth Anscombe and Rhys Patchell, in the meantime Alun Wyn Jones has been named within the squad regardless of suffering with a knee injury in December.

Wales open their Six Nations marketing campaign at house to Eire on Feb. 7. It is going to be an important match for Pivac after his facet gained solely three of their 10 checks in 2020, with these victories coming in opposition to lowly Georgia and two versus Italy.

Full Wales squad

Forwards

Rhys Carre, Wyn Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Rhodri Jones, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Ken Owens, Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Will Rowlands, Cory Hill, Dan Lydiate, Josh Navidi, Aaron Wainwright, Taulupe Faletau, Josh MacLeod, Justin Tipuric.

Backs:

Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams, Kieran Hardy, Dan Biggar, Callum Sheedy, Jarrod Evans, Johnny Williams, Jonathan Davies, Nick Tompkins, Owen Watkin, George North, Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Louis Rees-Zammit, Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams.

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