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
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: Dwell on BBC One, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC iPlayer & Radio 5 Dwell Sports activities Further, 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 steer his aspect 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 match 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 by harm and companions Dan Biggar. Josh Navidi is on the bench after recovering from concussion.

World file 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 harm.

Lydiate, 33, will play his sixty fifth Wales check 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 type participant in membership rugby. He is come into the camp and skilled effectively and deserves a begin in our opinion,” stated Pivac.

“He’ll deliver lots 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 lots 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 as effectively. You may discover anybody on this camp would agree he is accomplished very effectively there and that he is value his alternative.”

Pivac was compelled 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 harm sufferer Johnny Williams.

Davies is himself injured now with an ankle drawback so North and Williams type 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 harm, which he picked up in membership rugby earlier than coming into the camp.

“George did effectively there within the Italian recreation, 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 recreation. They’d skilled collectively that week for that match, so it is not unusual for the 2 of them.

“The decision was all the time going to be to see how Jonathan Davies was enjoying as a lot as George as a result of he hasn’t had an excellent run of video games as a result of harm 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 might have decided round that, however together with his harm it was a fast alternative for us to place George at 13 primarily based on what occurred within the Italian week.

“It is also about type and confidence George is bringing in. George is a part of these discussions once we look to vary 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 successful 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 would supposed on beginning Josh on the wing, but it surely’s been well-publicised earlier within the week that will not be taking place,” stated Pivac.

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

“He is skilled 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 possibility for Hallam. He is been referred to as again into the squad and was pleased with that, then the group 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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