Wales team to face Italy in Six Nations

Thomas Young in action for Wasps

Wasps flanker Thomas Young and Leicester wing Jonah Holmes will make their Six Nations debuts for Wales in Saturday's clash against Italy.

Young, who won two caps on Wales' 2017 summer tour against Tonga and Samoa, lines up in Rome alongside back-row colleagues Aaron Wainwright and Josh Navidi.

Centre Jonathan Davies captains his country for a first time - regular skipper Alun Wyn Jones is on the replacements' bench - as Wales head coach Warren Gatland makes 10 changes and one positional switch from the side that beat France last week.

There is also a Six Nations bow for Holmes, who made his Test debut during this season's autumn series, with scrum-half Aled Davies and flanker Wainwright handed first starts in the tournament.

Centre Owen Watkin, fly-half Dan Biggar, hooker Elliot Dee and lock Jake Ball also feature, with Navidi moving from blindside flanker to number eight.

Players that started the 24-19 victory over France not involved in Wales' match-day 23 this weekend include wing George North, centre Hadleigh Parkes and hooker Ken Owens as Gatland maximises a 31-man squad that has trained in Nice this week.

Young is the son of Wasps rugby director and former Wales prop Dai Young, and he has been among the Gallagher Premiership's most consistent performers this season.

He now has a glorious chance to show his Test credentials at the start of a World Cup year.

Victory for Wales at the Stadio Olimpico would make it 11 successive wins and equal their all-time unbeaten record set between 1907 and 1910.

They have also not lost to Italy for 12 years, while the Azzurri are without a win against any Six Nations team since 2015.

Gatland said: "We have made a number of changes this weekend, but have picked what we think is a very exciting team that still has huge experience throughout it.

"We have made a similar number of changes to what we did last year, but it is all about opportunity for these players. We have had a squad of 31 training together, replicating the Rugby World Cup, and it is important they get game-time.

"It is a great opportunity for Jon (Davies) as captain. He has a huge amount of experience, is a great leader and it is a great honour for him to lead his country.

"Italy will be hurting after last weekend (they lost to Scotland), but they are a different proposition in Rome.

"They are an experienced team themselves and they will be looking to put things right on the pitch after their opening defeat."

Wales team to play Italy

Forwards: 1 Nicky Smith, 2 Elliot Dee, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Adam Beard, 6 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Thomas Young, 8 Josh Navidi

Backs: 9 Aled Davies, 10 Dan Biggar, 11 Josh Adams, 12 Owen Watkin, 13 Jonathan Davies (Captain), 14 Jonah Holmes, 15 Liam Williams

Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Gareth Anscombe, 23 Hallam Amos

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