Wales v Eire: Captain Alun Wyn Jones match for Six Nations opener

Wales v Eire: Captain Alun Wyn Jones match for Six Nations opener

Alun Wyn Jones made his Wales debut on tour against Argentina in 2006
Alun Wyn Jones made his Wales debut on tour towards Argentina in 2006
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Sunday, 7 February Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Protection: Reside on BBC One, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC iPlayer & Radio 5 Reside Sports activities Additional, BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Sport web site and app, S4C. Highlights, Scrum V, BBC Two Wales from 19:00 GMT on Sunday

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones has been handed match to guide his facet into the Six Nations opener towards Eire.

Flanker Dan Lydiate performs his first worldwide for greater than two years and second-row Adam Beard additionally returns.

Gloucester wing Louis Rees-Zammit will make his event debut with Hallam Amos additionally recalled.

George North will proceed within the centre and win his 99th Wales cap with fellow British and Irish Lion Jonathan Davies lacking.

Cardiff Blues scrum-half Tomos Williams begins forward of Gareth Davies after lacking the autumn marketing campaign via damage and companions Dan Biggar. Josh Navidi is on the bench after recovering from concussion.

The crew accommodates a mixed whole of 874 caps, making it essentially the most skilled beginning facet in Wales’ worldwide historical past.

World document cap holder Jones broken his knee towards Italy on 5 December within the Autumn Nations Cup and was initially anticipated to overlook the beginning of the Six Nations.

The 35-year-old has recovered and can pack down alongside fellow Ospreys lock Beard, who was overlooked of the autumn squad.

Scarlets captain Ken Owens additionally returns at hooker after lacking the autumn marketing campaign due to a shoulder damage.

Lydiate, 33, will play his sixty fifth Wales take a look at and make his first worldwide look since November 2018 by linking up with Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau within the back-row.

“He is a kind participant in membership rugby. He is come into the camp and educated properly and deserves a begin in our opinion,” stated Pivac.

“He’ll convey a whole lot of expertise and he is a hard-nosed participant. He is what we want in spherical one.

“We take a look at what he is doing in video games and we’ve got a whole lot of stats and pictures that we use.

“We speak to folks near the motion on the Ospreys, folks whose opinion we cherish.

“Everybody has their very own opinions from afar, however we additionally take a look at what he is doing in coaching. Everybody on this camp would agree he is accomplished properly and value his alternative.”

Pivac was pressured right into a backline choice change after wing Josh Adams was suspended for the primary two matches due to a Covid-19 breach.

North began at 13 within the Autumn Nations Cup win towards Italy the place he performed alongside Jonathan Davies, who was a late beginning alternative for calf damage sufferer Johnny Williams.

Davies is himself injured now with an ankle downside so North and Williams kind the partnership.

“We’re assured George can do a job at 13 and he has run there for the final two weeks,” stated Pivac.

“That is been our plan with Jonathan’s damage, which he picked up in membership rugby earlier than coming into the camp.

“George did properly there within the Italian sport, he is snug at 13 and we’re snug with him there.

“We missed Johnny Williams, who was initially chosen to pair up with George in that Italy sport. They’d educated collectively that week for that match, so it isn’t unusual for the 2 of them.

“The decision was all the time going to be to see how Jonathan Davies was taking part in as a lot as George as a result of he hasn’t had a superb run of video games because of damage and he is picked up one other one now.

“It was about how Jon got here into the camp, the shape he introduced and the way he went within the first two weeks of coaching.

“We’d have decided round that, however along with his damage it was a fast selection for us to place George at 13 based mostly on what occurred within the Italian week.

“It is also about kind and confidence George is bringing in. George is a part of these discussions once we look to alter a participant from one place to a different.”

With Liam Williams additionally banned, 20-year-old Rees-Zammit will make his Six Nations debut after profitable his first cap towards France in a pleasant in October 2020 and beginning towards England, Georgia and Italy within the Autumn Nations Cup.

Amos, 26, final performed for Wales within the World Cup bronze medal match defeat by New Zealand in November 2019.

“It was a straight swap, we might supposed on beginning Josh on the wing, but it surely’s been well-publicised earlier within the week that will not be occurring,” stated Pivac.

“Reasonably than push George again to the wing, we simply needed to make one change and that was Hallam coming in.

“He is educated on the wing from the beginning of coming into camp with Jon being out, so Louis was all the time beginning on one wing with George within the centre.

“I see this as extra of a chance for Hallam. He is been referred to as again into the squad and was pleased with that, then the crew was named (internally) with out him being in it. Inside 24 hours of that, he is beginning.”

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Johnny Williams, Hallam Amos; Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rhodri Jones, Leon Brown, Will Rowlands, Josh Navidi, Gareth Davies, Callum Sheedy, Nick Tompkins.

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