Ian Botham's grandson to make Wales debut against Georgia

Paola Ditto
Novembre 22, 2020

Wales' Johnny Williams, center, is tackled by Georgia's Tedo Abzhandadze, left, and Beka Gorgadze during the Autumn Nations Cup rugby match at Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli, Wales.

It is all a far cry from when Pivac succeeded Warren Gatland, his fellow New Zealander, as head coach a year ago with Wales having just reached a World Cup semi-final after winning the Six Nations with a Grand Slam.

"We had a good look at James earlier in the campaign", Pivac said.

"He has impressed. He has done very well".

"In (flankers) Ross Moriarty and Josh Navidi, we've had a couple of guys who have not been able to partake so far, so James has been in and around the group. He's got very good hands and movement with the ball, so he is a good attacking threat as well as a very good defensive player".

Pivac made a raft of changes, with only flanker Justin Tipuric, who took over the captaincy, and full-back Liam Williams remaining from the side soundly beaten by Ireland in their Autumn Nations Cup opener in Dublin. "He's a confident young man without being over-confident". "There is a lot to like about him".

But Wales was in no danger as it won comfortably through a solid display in the rain. Flyhalf Callum Sheedy, also enjoying a first start in his second test, converted and added two penalties, and venerable replacement Rhys Webb added a late try with a final pass from Rees-Zammit.

Sheedy was the newest model to emerge from Wales' famous fly-half factory, with the Bristol outside-half, like Rees-Zammit, handed his first start.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has stuck with a pre-planned selection approach to the Georgia fixture, despite a run of six-successive defeats.

"At the moment, we've been our own worst enemies", Pivac told a conference call on Thursday after naming his team to play Georgia.

Having been Six Nations Grand Slam champions and World Cup semi-finalists under Warren Gatland in 2019, the former Scarlets coach had only overseen victories against Italy and the Barbarians during a miserable 12 months in charge.

"It's focusing on eliminating mistakes, working hard in training and making good decisions".

Sam Parry, Nicky Smith and Leon Brown provide the front-row cover on the bench with Cory Hill and James Davies completing the forward contingent.

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