Wales squad v Italy

Dat backrow tho.
Even missing Navidi
injured init
I love the post-World Cup 6N.
North at centre? Why not. Curry 8? Who cares!
Let's try some mad shit and see what sticks.
Ken Owens at 10
More from Pivac:
“I’m really happy with the side and really looking forward to this weekend.
“It is great for Johnny McNicholl to get his first cap, I thought he played really well against the Barbarians so it is a great opportunity for him this weekend.
“George has had a number of games in the midfield for Wales and more recently for the Ospreys and he has been running there in training. We have been impressed with him there and he is excited by the opportunity.
“Nick (Tompkins) has trained really well and has impressed and we are looking forward to seeing him at some stage during the game.
“We’ve had a couple of injuries, Josh Navidi picked up a hamstring injury so he is out for a few weeks, while Liam Williams, Owen Watkin, Gareth Davies and Elliot Dee weren’t quite ready to be available for selection.
“The whole team has a great vibe and we are looking forward to getting out there in front of our home supporters on Saturday.”
Call me crazy, but I'm actually looking forward to seeing North at 13. It could go either way but if he adjusts his game it could significantly lengthen his international career.
No need to rush LRZ in IMO. Clearly the lad has huge potential but I think he's been a little over hyped by some. McNicholl is quality.
Excited to see Faletau back, Tompkins and Webb off the bench too! I'm moist. Bloody hell I love the 6 Nations.
I agree about North.
He's been off the boil for a few years but I put that down to lack of decent time on the ball. Warrenball doesn't exactly lend itself to good service out to the wings, after all...
We're getting a little spoiled for choice on the wing, and in desperate need of centres. If he can up his passing/offloading game, he's some threat on the crash ball. Especially if he can get the service he needs from 10 (Jarrod/Anscombe are better for this than Biggar).
He does need to work on his defense though...
North at 13. Christ. Full 13 on the bench as well.
Gareth Davies fully out of the 23
Edit: Davies is injured
How has Webb been paying in France recently? I find it odd Gareth's out of the team entirely when he's been playing pretty well.
Parkes and North in centre - that's a lot of old school crash-ball right there. Whichever winger will be outside North at the time of an attack is unlikely to see much of the ball :/
He's been distributing fairly well for the Ospreys to be fair. I'm far more optimistic about his transition than most seem to be.
Can't help but think that their style would be better suited to playing off Jarrod at 10...
Good to see Toby back, shame about the Navidi news though.
Few papers got their ‘exclusives’ wrong claiming Zammit was getting capped.
First game being Italy should be a great time to at give one of Tomkins or LRZ a go surely?
Either way I think this team is decent other than North at centre... But if he's learned to pass it could work!
Tomkins on at half time unless George in on a hat-trick or something.
LRZ not even on the bench for the easiest game of the championship is actually criminal.
Would prefer Tompkins at 13 but no complaints otherwise. Can't wait for the game
Same here. Only reasoning I can think is that if the George experiment doesn't work then we've a class centre to bring on. Opposed to the other way where we start with Tompkins and either don't experiment with George at 13 at all because things are going OK or we take off a proper 13 and it goes tits up afterwards with no way to repair it.
I really don't get having LRZ in the squad if he isn't getting capped v Italy. They aren't gunna blood him against stronger competition surely...or is he just there as injury cover?
He might not be ready. To be an international winger you need to be shit hot under the high ball and knowing the defensive system. He has only been in camp 2 weeks, McNicoll has played under all 3 coaches for years and has had longer in camp being there for the babas game. LRZ will get his chance.
He took a knock the other week at club level, ended up limping off so maybe he’s still dealing with that.
What do you guys of Jarrod Evans on the bench?
I say this with no hyperbole. He is the greatest 10 to ever play the game (ok there was some hyperbole)
Hope your boys are fit cos your defense will need to be on point with him at 10. On song he can be unplayable.
Very attacking 10. Enjoy :)
Navidi doing his hamstring is a big loss but happy for Wainwright to take his place.
That's a strong team. Especially strong in the back 5 of the pack.
McNicholl is quality too.
North at 13 has never worked, why try it again? He might go better there running off a 10 that plays very flat but Biggar for all his talents isn't that
Biggar has been exactly that for Northampton lately, so hopefully we’ll see that for Wales too.
I think they’ll go for Tomkins at half time. Pivac probably doesn’t quite know who can follow direction and play to his style yet. It’s a good game to experiment in.
Some weird choices, but I will be interested to see how Webb and Jarrod play off one another.
I’m happy that halfpenny is starting but where is Liam? Is he OK....?
Still working off an injury I believe but he's expected to be back ready for the next game.
Superbru is currently running like arse as everyone changes their teams...
This team will crush Italy. Actually probably should have picked a weaker team. Sorry Italy
George North at 13.
Wales - ffs...
Everyone else - hell yeah
I agree, always saw him as a more of a centre. We need some one to run straight and draw in a few tacklers,not really had anyone to take that roll off Jamie Roberts
How confident are you guys in George North? Has he played well for his club?
Tompkins not getting a start against Italy is criminal. If North plays okay at 13 against Italy what do we learn?
I'm struggling to recall ever having seen George pass the ball. Though I'm sure it must've happened at least 4 times in his career.
In that position? Not very. He's not a great passer of the ball, he'll just get his head down and charge during any attack. JD he ain't.
I will be watching him defend from behind the sofa.
Very hard to tell as the Ospreys have been such a shambles, nobody has played well. He's not had that many games since the WC either.
On paper he should be able to play centre but I've never been that impressed. We'll see.
Ah no Rees Zammit? Is he injured?
He was carrying a slight ankle injury but I heard he was good to go.
With Halfpenny’s kicking back to its best. Who’s the designated kicker now?! Flip a coin each time maybe?
RIP Welsh wingers
We aren't fucking around. Let's start well this year.
Interesting. Giving Webb a run out to get back into it. North at 13 should be fun. Back row is sexy.
This isn’t even everyone available and it’s an absolute monster of a team. So glad to see Faletau back. Would have love to seen LRZ in the 15, even though you’ve got to remember McNicholl was absolute mustard against the Barbarians. And LRZ will feature in the 6 nations definitely, even if it’s off the bench.
Can't wait to see Tipuric back, feels like it has been years since he last played for Wales. That backrow is a thing of glory and I know he isn't well liked here, but having Moriarty on the bench is no bad thing. He can pack a good punch later on in the game.
Interested to see how North will get on at 13 too.
The 6 Nations is back!!
Holy fuck
I dunno if it's just me, but I feel a big aura of dread for Wales in the 6N this year. Not necessarily against Italy at home, just for the tournament as a whole, I just don't think it'll go well for us.
How is that any different to every year?
To be fair Geo, I feel like you've made this exact comment in every international window since I've been coming on this sub.
I'm quietly optimistic to be honest
I don't think we'll win, i think both Ireland and England way will be too much for such a fresh set up and who knows how good France will be with their new set up, but having a fresh set up DOES have it's advantages as it gives people less pre-knowledge of what to expect
absolute state of that team
North at 13 is lose lose.
McNicholl a nearly 30 year old kiwi over actual young Welsh talent.
Oh god Gatland why did you leave us.
I agree with your first point. Your second can get in the bin. He's Welsh now. And maybe I'd have had Zammit on the bench but Mcnicholl churns out the tries
What an incredible overreaction.
I’m not saying Italy will win but that Welsh team doesn’t inspire huge amounts of confidence. Not a fan of North at 13.
Asides from Tompkins we don't have many more options. I'd guess they don't want to risk an injury to Tompkins before the bigger matches, leaving us with North at 13 for England and Ireland which would be diabolical.
Who the fuck is McNicholl, and why is he on the wing, with a center on the bench, and one of the best wingers in the world at center?! Edit: Apparently I need to watch more Scarlets games. Completely miss that guy.
McNicholl might be the most exciting player, ball in hand, in the squad. He’s a ”makes things happen“ player and is in better form than North.
We’re looking thin at centre so it makes sense, to an extent, to try North against weaker opposition if we’ve got any intention of playing him there in the future. But he’s not been one of the best wingers in the world for several years. Injuries have taken their toll.
George North isn't even the 4th best winger in wales
Come on.
Surprised so many people are unaware of McNicholl, he's quality. Arguably Scarlets' best player last season, a great attacker and also good in the air. I'd pick him at 15 ahead of Leigh as well.
Who is McNicholl? He’s only scored something ridiculous like 33 tries since joining Scarlets a few years back.
Also starting on the wing over one of the best young wingers in World Rugby!
You’ll see soon enough, Pivac has known him a long time and let’s just say he knows what he’s picking
Maybe Eddies mind games have got to LRZ, he's withdrawn himself from the squad and will make a rogue England debut, scoring the winning try to secure the grand slam?
Emphasis on the maybe.
I know you're joking, but I'm genuinely curious - is LZR even eligible for England?