Pivac names Wales’ Six Nations squad

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Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has named a 36-man squad for the 2021 Guinness Six Nations with a number of surprise selections.

There is only one new face in the squad as Scarlets flanker Josh MacLeod is called upon having been name in the squad for the Autumn Internationals before injury prevented him joining up with the squad, James Botham drops out to create space.

The big news is the recall of Dan Lydiate as the Ospreys man is back involved at international level for the first time in over two years, with Pivac saying he preferred the blindside’s experience to that of Shane Lewis-Hughes. However there was no room for the equally experienced Rhys Webb and Jamie Roberts with Kieran Hardy and Johnny Williams selected ahead of them.

Ken Owens and Tomos Williams are both back after missing the Autumn through injury, while Rhodri Jones is also back with Rob Evans and Nicky Smith injured on the loosehead, while Adam Beard gets the nod ahead of Seb Davies in the second row.

Jarrod Evans is selected as the third fly-half option with Rhys Patchell injured and Rhys Priestland not available for selection, and Hallam Amos is recalled to the back three with no injured Jonah Holmes or the left put Ioan Lloyd.

Alun Wyn Jones, Jake Ball and Josh Navidi are all included despite having had little or no minutes since the last international window as Pivac picks on reputation in some areas, and on form in others, ending up with yet another squad that doesn’t seem to match how he wants to play the game.

Wales begin the Six Nations campaign at home to Ireland before travelling to Scotland and then welcoming England to the Principality Stadium. The competition then finishes on the road to Italy and France.

Wales 2021 Guinness Six Nations squad

Forwards: Rhys Carre, Wyn Jones, Rhodri Jones, Ken Owens, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Dillon Lewis, Leon Brown, Alun Wyn Jones, Cory Hill, Adam Beard, Will Rowlands, Jake Ball, Aaron Wainwright, Dan Lydiate, Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau, Josh MacLeod

Backs: Tomos Williams, Gareth Davies, Kieran Hardy, Callum Sheedy, Dan Biggar, Jarrod Evans, Johnny Williams, Owen Watkin, Nick Tompkins, Jon Davies, George North, Josh Adams, Louis Rees-Zammit, Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Hallam Amos

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