Two-time British & Irish Lion Jonathan Davies is the obvious choice to captain Wales in Saturday’s Six Nations clash in Italy, according to head coach Warren Gatland.
The centre, who started all three Tests in the 2013 Lions Tour victory in Australia and the 1-1 series draw with New Zealand four years later, will start as captain for the first time in his international career.
Wales began their campaign with a stirring comeback against France but Gatland, who led the Lions in 2013 and 2017, has opted to make ten changes – with regular skipper Alun Wyn Jones named as a replacement.
“He’s [Davies] been around for a number of years, already brings a lot of leadership to the team and he’s vocal within the squad,” said Gatland.
“Looking at that group of players he seemed the obvious choice to be given the opportunity he deserves the accolade.
“It’s good for him and recognition of what he’s already achieved in the game.”
There are five British & Irish Lions in the matchday 23, with Dan Biggar restored to fly-half in place of Gareth Anscombe.
Biggar, who toured New Zealand in 2017, came off the bench to steer Wales to victory in Paris and has been rewarded by Gatland with the No.10 jersey.
Liam Williams, who orchestrated a brilliant try for Sean O’Brien in the opening Lions Test against New Zealand in 2017, lines up at full-back, while there are two further Lions on the bench.
Titanic lock Jones, who has been on three Tours, is rotated out of the side while Ross Moriarty, who toured in 2017, will be expected to make a big impact off the bench.
15. Liam Williams (Saracens)
14. Jonah Holmes (Leicester Tigers)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets)
12. Owen Watkin (Ospreys)
11. Josh Adams (Worcester Warriors)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints)
9. Aled Davies (Ospreys)
- Nicky Smith (Ospreys)
- Elliot Dee (Dragons),
- Samson Lee (Scarlets)
- Jake Ball (Scarlets)
- Adam Beard (Ospreys)
- Aaron Wainwright (Dragons)
- Thomas Young (Wasps)
- Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues)
- Ryan Elias (Scarlets)
- Wyn Jones (Scarlets)
- Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues)
- Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys)
- Ross Moriarty (Dragons)
- Gareth Davies (Scarlets)
- Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys)
- Hallam Amos (Dragons)