Wales name five uncapped players for Canada clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Wales have named five uncapped players in their squad to face Canada on Saturday as Leigh Halfpenny makes his 100th Test appearance.
Tom Rogers and Ben Carter both start at the Millennium Stadium, while Gareth Thomas, Taine Basham and Ben Thomas are all set for their international debuts from the replacements.
Meanwhile, Halfpenny will win his 96th Wales cap, taking the fullback to a century when including his British & Irish Lions Test appearances.
Halfpenny combines with Scarlets teammate Rogers and Jonah Holmes in the back three, while captain Jonathan Davies joins Uilisi Halaholo in a familiar centre partnership. Tomos Williams and Callum Sheedy link-up at halfback.
In the pack there is plenty of experience with Nicky Smith, Elliot Dee and Dillon Lewis bringing a combined 104 caps to the front row.
Will Rowlands partners debutant Carter in an all-Dragons second row, while Ross Moriarty, James Botham and Aaron Wainwright combine in the back row.
“We are all looking forward to getting back to the Principality Stadium with fans in attendance and Saturday against Canada promises to be a great occasion,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.
“This summer [July] is an important block as we build towards Rugby World Cup 2023, and it is great to give five uncapped players opportunities.
“They have all impressed us in training, deserve a chance and we are looking forward to seeing them step up to the Test arena.
“At the other end of the scale you have Leigh Halfpenny, who makes his 100th Test appearance. It is a thoroughly deserved milestone for Leigh and it is made all the sweeter by the fact that his family and so many of our supporters are able to be in attendance.”
Ryan Elias, Leon Brown, Josh Turnbull, Kieran Hardy and Nick Tompkins join the debutants among the replacements.
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Jonah Holmes, 13 Uilisi Halaholo, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 Tom Rogers, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 James Botham, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Will Rowlands, 4 Ben Carter, 3 Dillon Lewis, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Josh Turnbull, 20 Taine Basham, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Ben Thomas, 23 Nick Tompkins.
Date: Saturday, July 3
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 15.00 (14.00 GMT; 10.00 EDT)
Referee: Nika Amashukeli
Assistant referees: Christophe Ridley, Tom Foley
TMO: Stuart Terheege