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Rees-Zammit called up by Pivac as Wales plot title defence

Rees-Zammit called up by Pivac as Wales plot title defence

Wales won the Grand Slam last year, beating Ireland in Round 5

  • Wayne Pivac includes five uncapped players in his 38-man Guinness Six Nations squad
  • 18-year-old winger Louis Rees-Zammit gets the nod after a breakthrough season with Gloucester
  • There are recalls for scrum-half Rhys Webb and No.8 Taulupe Faletau

Wing sensation Louis Rees-Zammit is one of five uncapped players in Wayne Pivac’s first Guinness Six Nations squad as Wales head coach.

The 18-year-old burst onto the scene before Christmas with a pair of tries for Gloucester against Worcester Warriors, before bagging a hat-trick against Northampton Saints.

He was named English Premiership Player of the Month for December and Pivac has wasted no time in calling him up for the defending champions.

There is also a recall for scrum-half Rhys Webb, who was handed a six-month dispensation after announcing that he will return to Wales and play for the Ospreys next season.

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Webb moved to French side Toulon in 2018 and was ineligible to play for the national side but is re-joining his former club this summer and available again.

Prop WillGriff John, lock Will Rowlands, centre Nick Tompkins and back three player Johnny McNicholl are the other uncapped players selected in the 38-man squad, while Alun Wyn Jones is once again named captain.

“We are really excited to be naming our Six Nations squad and kicking the campaign off,” said Pivac.

“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. We got a lot of ‘firsts’ out of the way, getting to meet and get in front of the players and having a game together was hugely beneficial.

“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.

“The Six Nations is hugely exciting for me, it is something I grew up watching from afar and it has such history attached to it, I’m really looking forward to the campaign.”

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.

There is also a welcome return for No.8 Taulupe Faletau, who missed the World Cup with a broken collarbone, and could win his first cap since March 2018.

Wales’ 2020 Guinness Six Nations Squad:

Forwards (21)

Rhys Carre (Saracens) (6 Caps)
Rob Evans (Scarlets) (36 Caps)
Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (22 Caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (29 Caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (9 Caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (73 Caps)
Leon Brown (Dragons) (6 Caps)
WillGriff John (Sale) (*uncapped)
Dillon Lewis (Blues) (22 Caps)
Jake Ball (Scarlets) (42 Caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys) (20 Caps)
Seb Davies (Blues) (7 Caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (134 Caps) (CAPTAIN)
Will Rowlands (Wasps) (*uncapped)
Cory Hill (Dragons) (24 Caps)
Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (26 Caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (18 Caps)
Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (72 Caps)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (41 Caps)
Josh Navidi (Blues) (23 Caps)
Justin Tipuric (Osprey) (72 Caps)

Backs (17)

Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (51 Caps)
Rhys Webb (Toulon) (31 Caps)
Tomos Williams (Blues) (16 Caps)
Dan Biggar (Northampton) (79 Caps)
Owen Williams (Gloucester) (3 Caps)
Jarrod Evans (Blues) (3 Caps)
Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (25 Caps)
Nick Tompkins (Saracens) (*uncapped)
Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (22 Caps)
George North (Ospreys) (91 Caps)
Josh Adams (Blues) (21 Caps)
Owen Lane (Blues) (2 Caps)
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) (*uncapped)
Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester) (*uncapped)
Jonah Holmes (Leicester Tigers) (3 Caps)
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (85 Caps)
Liam Williams (Saracens) (62 Caps)