Wales lifted the Triple Crown after beating England
Wales Six Nations Squad 2021
Wales remain on course for a Six Nations Grand Slam after beating England 40-24 in their third-round match in Cardiff.
The result means they lifted the Triple Crown having also beaten Ireland and Scotland in the earlier rounds, and with Italy next up they are expected to be four wins from four in a couple of weeks’ time. Then it will be onto to Paris to face France in their final match.
There was drama and controversy aplenty in their bonus-point victory over England – read the Rugby World verdict on the Triple Crown win here.
Wales team to play England – Saturday 27 February
Liam Williams; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Jonathan Davies, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Kieran Hardy; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomos Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Josh Navidi, Justin Tupuric, Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Cory Hill, 20 James Botham, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 Uilisi Halaholo.
RUGBY WORLD VERDICT
The big calls are in the back-line, writes Alan Pearey. Not long ago Wales looked worryingly short of options in midfield. Now a centre threequarter lurks around every corner.
Pivac has chosen to ignore the merits of Nick Tompkins and Owen Watkin, starters at Murrayfield a fortnight ago, as well as Johnny Williams, who wore 12 against Ireland. Willis Halalolo, who impressed after coming on early against the Scots, is again on the bench.
In selecting George North and Jonathan Davies, he has banked on experience – oodles of it. North was always likely to get the 13 shirt and the chance to finally bring up his caps ton for Wales after his recent eye and foot injuries.
Davies, Man of the Series on the 2017 Lions tour, is a Rolls-Royce of a player. He is not long recovered from an ankle injury but offers defensive expertise and untold wisdom. He is no longer a man for slashing breaks but still a man to facilitate them for others.
Liam Williams, the self-proclaimed ‘bomb defuser’, produced one of his greatest performances when England last visited in the Six Nations. His selection means sacrificing the goal-kicking of Leigh Halfpenny – who failed an HIA two weeks ago – but Dan Biggar has kicked 428 Test points. He can do the job off the tee.
Which leaves Kieran Hardy, Wales’ third different starting scrum-half in as many games. It’s a bold call. Hardy has three caps, replacement Gareth Davies has 59. Both like to inject pace in the game and both will have big roles to play.
The pack warrants less discussion but look out for Wyn Jones. No front-rower has ever won Player of the Tournament but the Welsh loosehead has been superb in this championship.
Does it look like a winning line-up? Even without the customary crowd advantage, Rugby World believes so. Wales will win by a score and keep the Grand Slam dream alive.
Wales team to play Scotland – Saturday 13 February
Leigh Halfpenny; Louis Rees-Zammit, Owen Watkin, Nick Tompkins, Liam Williams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomos Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tupuric, Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rhodri Jones, Leon Brown, Will Rowlands, James Botham, Kieran Hardy, Callum Sheedy, Uilisi Halaholo.
Wales team to play Ireland – Sunday 7 February
Leigh Halfpenny; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Johnny Williams, Hallam Amos; Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tupuric, Taulupe Faletau.
Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rhodri Jones, Leon Brown, Will Rowlands, Josh Navidi, Gareth Davies, Callum Sheedy, Nick Tompkins.
Wales Six Nations Squad 2021
Following injuries to Dan Lydiate, Tomos Williams, Johnny Williams and Hallam Amos in the opening fixture against Ireland, Wales called up James Botham, Lloyd Williams and Willis Halaholo.
Lydiate has been released from the squad due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Dillon Lewis has also been released from the squad due to a neck injury with Sale prop WillGriff John coming in.
Scrum-half Kieran Hardy, who scored a try in the win over England, suffered a hamstring injury in that match so has been released from the squad to continue his rehabilitation at the Scarlets.
Aaron Wainwright and Owen Watkin have been released to the Dragons and Ospreys for this weekend’s Pro14 action but will return to the national squad on Monday.
Jake Ball (21 Jun 1991/Scarlets/Lock/2014 v Ireland/49)
Adam Beard (7 Jan 1996/Ospreys/Lock/2017 v Samoa/24)
James Botham (22 February 1998/Cardiff Blues/Flanker/2020 v Georgia/5)
Leon Brown (26 Oct 1996/Dragons/Prop/2017 v Australia/15)
Rhys Carre (8 Feb 1998/Cardiff Blues/Prop/2019 v Ireland/12)
Elliot Dee (7 Mar 1994/Dragons/Hooker/2017 v Georgia/35)
Ryan Elias (7 Jan 1995/Scarlets/Hooker/2017 v Tonga/17)
Taulupe Faletau (12 Nov 1990/Bath/No.8/2011 v Barbarians/84 (+4 for Lions))
Tomas Francis (27 Apr 1992/Exeter Chiefs/Prop/2015 v Ireland/55)
Cory Hill (10 Feb 1992/Cardiff Blues/Lock/2016 v Australia/30)
Willgriff John (4 Dec 1992/Sale Sharks/Prop/Uncapped)
Rhodri Jones (23 Dec 1991/Ospreys/Prop/2012 v Barbarians/20)
Alun Wyn Jones (19 Sep 1985/Ospreys/Lock/2006 v Argentina/146 (+9 for Lions))
Wyn Jones (26 Feb 1992/Scarlets/Prop/2017 v Tonga/33)
Josh Navidi (30 Dec 1990/Cardiff Blues/Flanker/2013 v Japan/26)
Ken Owens (3 Jan 1987/Scarlets/Hooker/2011 v Namibia/80 (+2 for Lions))
Will Rowlands (19 Sep 1991/Wasps/Lock/2020 v France/7)
Justin Tipuric (6 Aug 1989/Ospreys/Back-row/2011 v Argentina/83 (+1 for Lions))
Aaron Wainwright (25 Sep 1997/Dragons/Back-row/2018 v Argentina/28)
Josh Adams (21 Apr 1995/Cardiff Blues/Wing/2018 v Scotland/30)
Hallam Amos (24 Sep 1994/Cardiff Blues/Wing/2013 v Tonga/23)
Dan Biggar (16 Oct 1989/Northampton Saints/Fly-half/2008 v Canada/90)
Gareth Davies (18 Aug 1990/Scarlets/Scrum-half/2014 v South Africa/60)
Jonathan Davies (5 Apr 1988/Scarlets/Centre/2009 v Canada/86 (+6 for Lions))
Jarrod Evans (25 Jul 1996/Cardiff Blues/Fly-half/2018 v Scotland/6)
Willis Halaholo (6 Jul 1990/Cardiff Blues/Centre/2021 v Scotland/2)
Leigh Halfpenny (22 Dec 1988/Scarlets/Full-back/2008 v South Africa/95 (+4 for Lions))
Kieran Hardy (30 Nov 1995/Scarlets/Scrum-half/2020 v Georgia/4)
George North (13 Apr 1992/Ospreys/Wing/2010 v South Africa/100 (+3 for Lions))
Louis Rees-Zammit (2 Feb 2001/Gloucester Rugby/2020 v France/7)
Callum Sheedy (28 Oct 1995/Bristol Bears/Fly-half/2020 v Ireland/7)
Nick Tompkins (16 Feb 1995/Dragons/Centre/2020 v Italy/10)
Owen Watkin (12 Oct 1996/Ospreys/Centre/2017 v Australia/26)
Johnny Williams (18 Oct 1996/Scarlets/Centre/2020 v Georgia/3)
Liam Williams (9 Apr 1991/Scarlets/Full-back or wing/2012 v Barbarians/69 (+3 for Lions))
Lloyd Williams (30 Nov 1989/Cardiff Blues/Scrum-half/2011 v Argentina/31)
Tomos Williams (1 Jan 1995/Cardiff Blues/Scrum-half/2018 v South Africa/21)
Wales Six Nations Fixtures 2021
(All kick-off times are GMT)
Sun 7 February, Wales 21-16 Ireland Louis Rees-Zammit produces sensational finish
Sat 13 February, Scotland 24-25 Wales Louis Rees-Zammit stuns the Scots
Sat 27 February, Wales 40-24 England Wales lift Triple Crown
Sat 13 March, Italy v Wales, Stadio Olimpico, 2:15pm
Sat 20 March, France v Wales, Stade de France, 8pm
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