Wayne Pivac Names First Wales Six Nations Side

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Teenager Louis Rees-Zammit's eye-catching season with Premiership side Gloucester has earned him a call-up to defending champion Wales' Six Nations squad, who embark on their first campaign under new coach Wayne Pivac.

Rees-Zammit, 18, is one of five uncapped players Pivac has selected in the 38-man squad which begins its defense of the Grand Slam at home to Italy on February 1.

On Monday Rees-Zammit had been awarded a long-term contract by Gloucester, for whom earlier this season the wing became the youngest ever Premiership hat-trick scorer.

Pivac has called up England-born Saracens centre Nick Tompkins, who was a member of the England Under-20 side that won the 2014 world championship.

Tompkins, 24, qualifies for Wales through a Welsh grandmother.

The other uncapped players are Sale Sharks prop WillGriff John, Wasps lock Will Rowlands and Scarlets' New Zealand-born wing Johnny McNicholl.

Pivac, who replaced fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland as head coach after the latter stepped down following a highly successful 12-year tenure, has also recalled scrum-half Rhys Webb.

Webb last played Test rugby just over two years ago before joining French club Toulon and ruling himself out of Wales contention because he did not meet the minimum 60-cap selection criteria for players plying their trade outside the country.

However, he is to leave Toulon early to re-join Ospreys after his family failed to settle in France.

The call-up will be a much-needed boost for the 31-year-old as he has been told by Toulon owner Bernard Lemaitre he will never play for the club again due to his "dishonest" attitude. 

Squad

Forwards (21)

Rhys Carre (Saracens/ENG), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Elliot Dee (Dragons), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Leon Brown (Dragons), WillGriff John (Sale/ENG), Dillon Lewis (Blues), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Seb Davies (Blues), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, capt), Will Rowlands (Wasps/ENG), Cory Hill (Dragons), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons), Taulupe Faletau (Bath/ENG), Ross Moriarty (Dragons), Josh Navidi (Blues), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys)

Backs (17)

Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Rhys Webb (Toulon/FRA), Tomos Williams (Blues), Dan Biggar (Northampton/ENG), Owen Williams (Gloucester/ENG), Jarrod Evans (Blues), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), Nick Tompkins (Saracens/ENG), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), George North (Ospreys), Josh Adams (Blues), Owen Lane (Blues), Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester/ENG), Jonah Holmes (Leicester/ENG), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets), Liam Williams (Saracens/ENG)

© Agence France-Presse

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