“Little possession and less territory have reduced opportunities to a trickle” says Paul Rees in his analysis of Wales’s issues and he’s not wrong. You can read the rest of his thoughts here.
Wayne Pivac has given out three new caps in the team as Johnny Williams, Kieran Hardy and James Botham start. The media are very keen that you know James Botham has a grandparent. The bench has another debutant in Bristol’s Ioan Lloyd. the bench in Ioan Lloyd.
Lloyd’s clubmate Callum Sheedy makes his first start at out-half, and the much-trailed teenager Louis Rees-Zammit gets his first go from the off on the wing. Rees-Zammit is a raw prospect, with all the tools, but everyone would do well to calm down a bit. I hope he goes well in this game, but this could stoke the hype train to derailment levels and that’s not the best for him. Justin Tipuric is captain.
Five changes for Georgia from the team that was so roundly tonked in a downpour by England. Vasil Lobzhanidze – who looked bright off the bench last week – comes into the back-line with Sandro Todua, while in the pack Jaba Bregvadze, Konstantine Mikautadze and Otar Giorgadze start.
Wales: Liam Williams; Johnny McNicholl, Nick Tompkins, Johnny Williams, Louis Rees-Zammit; Callum Sheedy, Kieran Hardy; Wyn Jones, Elliot Dee, Samson Lee, Jake Ball, Seb Davies, James Botham, Justin Tipuric (captain), Aaron Wainwright.
Replacements: Sam Parry, Nicky Smith, Leon Brown, Cory Hill, James Davies, Rhys Webb, Ioan Lloyd, Jonah Holmes.
Georgia: Lasha Khmaladze; Akaki Tabutsadze, Giorgi Kveseladze, Merab Sharikadze (captain), Sandro Todua; Tedo Abzhandadze, Vasil Lobzhanidze; Mikheil Nariashvili, Jaba Bregvadze, Beka Gigashvili, Grigor Kerdikoshvili, Konstantine Mikautadze, Otar Giorgadze, Beka Saginadze, Beka Gorgadze.
Replacements: Giorgi Chkoidze, Guram Gogichashvili, Lekso Kaulashvili, Lasha Jaiani, Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, Gela Aprasidze, Deme Tapladze, Tamaz Mchedlidze
Wales are back at Parc Y Scarlets and so are we to bring you this Autumn Nations Cup game vs Georgia
The storm clouds are gathering around Wales coach Wayne Pivac, and because this is rugby in Wales the clouds are angry, glowering, unreasonable, full of acid rain and have been tipping sheets of vitriol on his head every day since the big loss to Ireland. Pivac has decided the best umbrella he has is made of a load of new caps to put on a refreshing show of his brand of rugby vs the visiting Georgia side.
The two teams last met during last year’s World Cup, but since then both have new coaches with varying results. Wales have lost six on the bounce, while Georgia have won four of their six outings in 2020, although the two losses are big ones against the only Tier 1 sides they have faced – Scotland and England. Simply put, Georgia have never beaten a Tier 1 side, and there is no way they should start today against Wales.
A win, and a comfortable one that looks good, is the bare minimum required if Pivac is to get some breathing space from his detractors.