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Sport

Botham among three uncapped players named by Wales for Georgia clash

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Wales v France - Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Wales, Britain - February 22, 2020 Wales head coach Wayne Pivac before the match REUTERS/Rebecca Naden

CARDIFF (Reuters) - James Botham, grandson of former England cricketer Ian Botham, was among three uncapped players named by Wales in their side to face Georgia in the Autumn Nations Cup as they rested regulars for the test at Llanelli on Saturday.

Cardiff Blues flanker Botham goes straight into the team despite having only been brought into the squad at the start of the week while scrumhalf Kieran Hardy and centre Johnny Williams will also earn their first caps.

Flyhalf Callum Sheedy and winger Louis Rees-Zammit, both previously capped off the bench, are in the starting lineup for the first time.

“Saturday is a huge opportunity for the players and for us as a squad looking ahead to the future and to Rugby World Cup 2023,” said Wales coach Wayne Pivac, who named Justin Tipuric as captain.

“As we have said all along, the Autumn Nations Cup is a great platform for us to give opportunities to players, to build depth and experience.”

Wales go into the game on the back of six successive losses and growing pressure on the coach. They lost to Ireland in Dublin last week at the start of the new competition.

Team:

15-Liam Williams, 14-Johnny McNicholl, 13-Nick Tompkins, 12-Johnny Williams, 11-Louis Rees-Zammit, 10-Callum Sheedy, 9-Kieran Hardy, 8-Aaron Wainwright, 7-Justin Tipuric (captain), 6-James Botham, 5-Seb Davies, 4-Jake Ball, 3-Samson Lee, 2-Elliot Dee, 1-Wyn Jones

Replacements: 16-Sam Parry, 17-Nicky Smith, 18-Leon Brown, 19-Cory Hill, 20-James Davies, 21-Rhys Webb, 22-Ioan Lloyd, 23-Jonah Holmes.

Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris and Toby Davis

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