Wales will be looking to end their 2018 NatWest 6 Nations campaign on a high with the first of two home games to end the Championship coming on Sunday afternoon against Italy.
Since Wales’ emphatic 34-7 win over Scotland on the opening weekend, they have lost close games away to England and Ireland, while Italy will be hoping for their first win of the Championship.
With Warren Gatland due to announce his squad at 12pm on Wednesday, we highlight a few things to look out for in his selection.
ANSCOMBE AT FLY-HALF?
Gareth Anscombe spoke about his desire to win a first NatWest 6 Nations start at ten, after impressing at both fly-half and full-back in Wales’ opening three matches.
The Cardiff Blues playmaker is confident that Wales can win their final two games against Italy and France, and believes they are moving in the right direction.
On a personal level, he is hoping to be preferred at ten ahead of teammates Rhys Patchell and Dan Biggar.
Anscombe said: “I’d love to get a chance in the ten jersey.
“I want to put my hand up and have a crack, but obviously Rhys and Dan have done good jobs there.
“At ten it’s about first making sure you play in the right areas of the park and when you get down there, making good decisions and executing them.
“There is always a risk and reward with your decision making as a ten.”
FRONT ROW CHANGES
Gatland may choose to change things up against Italy and one man hoping for a first Wales start is Elliot Dee.
The Dragons hooker said he is hungry to play, but recognises that competition for places is fierce within the squad with Ken Owens a leader in the Welsh pack.
“It would be massive for me,” said Dee. “But I won’t get too far ahead of myself.
“If I was to get the start I would just go out to try and do exactly what I have been doing – try and bring energy, give it my all.”
There was a forced change to the matchday squad following a hamstring injury to Wyn Jones, with Rhodri Jones called up to replace him.
Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde said: “It is disappointing for him and tough on Wyn.
“He’s had a good season on the back of a good summer.”
FALETAU SET TO RETURN?
Taulupe Faletau played for Bath against Harlequins on Sunday in his quest to prove his fitness to Gatland.
The No.8 has not yet featured in the 2018 NatWest 6 Nations, but could be in line to return to the matchday 23 should Gatland deem him ready.
However with the first choice trio of Aaron Shingler, Josh Navidi and Ross Moriarty having all impressed so far, and Justin Tipuric a very useful option off the bench, Gatland is not short of options in the back row.