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Italy v Wales: Gareth Davies and Cory Hill selected to start in Rome

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Scarlets scrum-half Gareth Davies has played 60 internationals for Wales
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome Date: Saturday, 13 March Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Coverage: Live BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Sounds, BBC Sport website and app, S4C

Wales have recalled Scarlets scrum-half Gareth Davies and Cardiff Blues lock Cory Hill for the Six Nations trip to Italy on Saturday.

Davies replaces injured Scarlets team-mate Kieran Hardy while Hill is rewarded for a try-scoring replacement appearance against England.

Adam Beard drops out of the squad while Lloyd Williams and Jake Ball have been named as replacements.

Wales will face Italy before travelling to play France seven days later.

Hardy suffered a hamstring injury against England which has ruled him out of the tournament, while Tomos Williams is yet to return to fitness after picking up a similar problem against Ireland.

Ball will win his 50th cap if he comes off the bench, with Rhys Carre and Aaron Wainwright also named as replacements.

Ospreys prop Rhodri Jones has been released from Wales’ Six Nations squad due to a calf injury suffered in training and has been replaced by regional team-mate Nicky Smith.

A Six Nations table showing: Wales P 3, W 3, PD 22, B 2, Pts 14; France P 2, W 2, PD 42, B 1, Pts 9; Ireland P 3, W 1, PD 31, B 3, Pts 7; England P 3, W 1, PD 2, B 2, Pts 6; Scotland P 2, W 1, PD 4, B 1, Pts 5, Italy P 3, W 0, PD -101, B 0, Pts 0
Wales lead the Six Nations standings from France, whose game at home to Scotland was postponed because of a coronavirus outbreak in their camp

Wayne Pivac’s Triple Crown-winning side are two steps away from a Grand Slam following victories over Ireland, Scotland and England.

Head coach Pivac has also chosen to name his team two days earlier than scheduled and it is the most experienced starting side in Wales history with 979 caps.

“We are really looking forward to this weekend and are ready to get out there on Saturday,” said Pivac.

“Three from three is a great start but there has been plenty to do and plenty of work-ons. We’ve had a two-week build-up to this game, trained really well in the fallow week and are looking forward to round four.”

Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Johnny Williams (Scarlets) and Nick Tompkins (Dragons) have been released to the Welsh pro teams for this weekend’s PRO14 games.

Wales team to face Italy

Liam Williams; Louis Rees-Zammit, George North, Jonathan Davies, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Gareth Davies; Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 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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