George North Wales

MARSEILLE, FRANCE - OCTOBER 14: George North of Wales looks on during the Rugby World Cup France 2023 Quarter Final match between Wales and Argentina at Stade Velodrome on October 14, 2023 in Marseille, France. (Photo by Paul Harding/Getty Images)

George North Is Back For Wales As Warren Gatland Stops The Experimentation

By David Williams

George North and Nick Tompkins have both been recalled to the Wales team for Saturday’s Six Nations wooden-spoon decider against Italy.

The pair – who were controversially dropped for the record 45-24 home thrashing by France in the previous round – replace Joe Roberts and Owen Watkin.

Head coach Warren Gatland had said he wanted to provide an opportunity to Roberts, but with Wales in danger of finshing bottom of the tournament table for the first time in 21 years, it apears the short period of experimentation is already over.

Gatland has made two other changes are in the pack, where Harlequins prop Dillon Lewis is preferred to Keiron Assiratti and Cardiff flanker Alex Mann packs down alongside back-row colleagues Tommy Reffell and Aaron Wainwright.


 

Wales captain Dafydd Jenkins, who featured at blindside flanker against France, returns to the second-row alongside Adam Beard, with Will Rowlands dropping to the bench.

Scarlets prop Harri O’Connor could make his Test debut having been included among an inexperienced Wales’ replacement bench.

“This is an important game for us,” said Gatland.

“We definitely don’t want to finish bottom and the squad is hungry to win.

“We understand that external pressure and expectation comes with international rugby.

“It’s about embracing that, continuing the hard work and fronting up to go out and be accurate and disciplined on Saturday.”

Gatland’s side have suffered 11 defeats in their last 12 Six Nations matches.

 

Wales team to play Italy at Principality Stadium, Cardiff in the 2024 Guinness Six Nations, Saturday 16 March KO 2.15pm

 

15 Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby – 4 caps)

14 Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 58 caps)

13 George North (Ospreys – 120 caps)

12 Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 35 caps)

11 Rio Dyer (Dragons – 18 caps)

10 Sam Costelow (Scarlets – 11 caps)

9 Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 57 caps);

1 Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 29 caps)

2 Elliot Dee (Dragons – 50 caps)

3 Dillon Lewis (Harlequins – 56 caps)

4 Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs – 16 caps) Captain

5 Adam Beard (Ospreys – 55 caps)

6 Alex Mann (Cardiff Rugby – 4 caps)

7 Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 17 caps)

8 Aaron Wainwright (Dragons – 47 caps)

 

Replacements

16 Evan Lloyd (Cardiff Rugby – 1 cap)

17 Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets – 1 cap)

18 Harri O’Connor (Scarlets – uncapped)

19 Will Rowlands (Racing 92 – 32 caps)

20 Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby – 2 caps)

21 Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 20 caps)

22 Ioan Lloyd (Scarlets – 6 caps)

23 Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby – 10 caps)

 

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