Gloucester star Louis Rees-Zammit given first Wales call-up

16 Janvier, 2020, 10:20 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Rees-Zammit called up by Pivac as Wales plot title defence

Tighthead John, 27, is rewarded for consistent form, although Rowlands is more of a surprise selection, while McNicholl started Wales' non-cap game in November against the Barbarians.

"The Six Nations is hugely exciting for me".

McNicholl, who has satisfied the residency rule after three years with Scarlets, would've been joined by former Hurricanes midfielder Willis Halaholo and Gareth Anscombe but for their injuries.

Pivac, who took over from Warren Gatland after last year's World Cup, was expected to call on Gloucester's 18-year old wing Louis Rees-Zammit and the Sale prop WillGriff John, but after ordering Wales's Exiles's department to be more proactive in the hunt for players eligible to wear the red jersey, he has included Saracens' in-form centre Nick Tompkins, who had been linked with an England call-up, and the Wasps' second row Will Rowlands.

Webb last played Test rugby just over two years ago before joining French club Toulon and ruling himself out of Wales contention because he did not meet the minimum 60-cap selection criteria for players plying their trade outside the country.

Tompkins, 24, represented the England Saxons in 2016 and is an England under 20 World Cup victor, but he qualifies for Wales through his Wrexham-born grandmother.

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"A lot of time and effort has gone into selecting the squad, all of the coaches have been out and about, seeing players in training, speaking with them and we are pretty excited with the group we have got".

"Looking back to the Barbarians week [in November], that was hugely important for us".

Wales are without the injured Jonathan Davies but have included fellow centre Owen Watkin, who has been given the green light to return to training this week following a knee injury.

"We do have a couple of injuries but we flip that into seeing it as an opportunity for some new players to impress, with not only the Six Nations in mind but also longer term and 2023". It is something I grew up watching from afar and it has such history attached to it.

Wales open their Six Nations campaign against Italy in Cardiff before travelling to Dublin the following weekend.

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