George North returns for Wales against Italy

George North is named at outside centre
George North is named at outside centre

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has recalled George North into the starting line-up for the upcoming Autumn Nations Cup fifth-place play-off to be played on Saturday.

Pivac is fieldling a strong side with a great blend of youth and experience, and as you can see with bonuscodebets, Wales go into this match with the Azzuri as favourites.

Coincidentally, North's last start for Wales came against Italy during the Six Nations tournament and now he has been slotted at outside centre partnering in midfield with Johnny Williams.

Josh Adams takes position at right wing with Louis Rees-Zammit at left and Liam Williams replaces Leigh Halfpenny at fullback.

Callum Sheedy returns to take the fly-half role from Dan Biggar forming halfback partnership with Kieran Hardy.

Nicky Smith, Sam Parry and Tomas Francis form a new look front row with Will Rowlands partnering with skipper Alun Wyn Jones at second row. Taulupe Faletau and Justin Tipuric will be joined by James Botham at back-row.

“Saturday is another opportunity for these players and for us as a squad it is another opportunity to continue to build and to see the results of all the hard work in training,” said head coach Pivac.

“We have blooded eight new caps this campaign and importantly by the end of the match each of them would have had a number of appearances to their name.

“From the outset we wanted this campaign to be about giving players opportunity and we have done that.

“The hard work in training is coming through and we want to show that again on Saturday and finish the campaign on a high, with the performance and result we want.”

Wales had a tough year under Pivac as they finished fifth in the Six Nations tournament and lost games against England and Ireland in the ongoing Autumn Nations Cup to finish third in Group A while Italy's only points came against the cancelled fixture against Fiji after the South Pacific side had a Covid-19 outbreak.

The two teams have played each other 28 times with Wales winning 15 and Italy with 12 victories while they also had a drawn encounter in 2006.

Wales: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Josh Adams, 13 George North, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Louis Rees-Zammit, 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Kieran Hardy, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 James Botham, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Will Rowlands, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Nicky Smith

Reserves: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Wyn Jones, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Aaron Wainwright, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Ioan Lloyd, 23 Jonah Holmes

Wales Fixtures