Pivac sticks with the status quo for Italy

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Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has largely stuck with the side that secured the Triple Crown against England as the unlikely hunt for a Grand Slam continues away at Italy on Saturday, 2.15pm kick-off.

There are two changes to the starting XV as Adam Beard drops out of the 23, presumably rested with no news of an injury, with Cory Hill joining captain Alun Wyn Jones in the second row, while Gareth Davies comes in for the injured Kieran Hardy at scrum-half.

Changes on the bench see Rhys Carre replace the injured Rhodri Jones as the loosehead cover, Jake Ball take the vacant second row cover position, Aaron Wainwright is preferred to James Botham as the back row option and Lloyd Williams will act as back up scrum-half.

The Welsh Rugby Union have also confirmed that Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues), Nick Tompkins (Dragons), Owen Watkin (Ospreys) and Johnny Williams (Scarlets) have been released back to their respective clubs for Guinness Pro14 action this weekend.

Wales: Liam Williams, Josh Adams, George North, Jon Davies, Louis Rees-Zammit, Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones (c), Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre, Leon Brown, Jake Ball, Aaron Wainwright, Lloyd Williams, Callum Sheedy, Willis Halaholo

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