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Hill rewarded with starting spot for Italy trip

International | 9th March 2021

Cardiff Blues lock, Cory Hill, has been rewarded for his try scoring display against England as he's called into the starting line-up for Wales' Guinness Six Nations clash against Italy.

The lock powered over in the final moments to seal victory against Eddie Jones' side last time out as Wayne Pivac's side maintained their 100 per cent record in this year's Championship.

Wales head to Rome for Saturday's early kick off, looking to keep their Grand Slam hopes alive ahead of the final match of the campaign against France the following week.

Hill, who partners captain Alun Wyn Jones in the second row, is one of two changes made to the starting line-up, as Gareth Davies replaces injured club team-mate Kieran Hardy at scrum half.

Academy product Hill is joined by five of his Cardiff Blues team-mates in the matchday 23, with Josh Adams - another try scorer in the win over England - and Josh  Navidi retaining their starting spots in the unchanged back three and back row respectively. 

Willis Halaholo is also kept in the matchday 23, looking to win his third cap from the bench. Two further Cardiff Blues players are selected amongst the replacements, with Rhys Carré and Lloyd Williams involved for the first time this campaign, with both last appearing on the international stage in November's Autumn Nations Cup clash against England.

There was also confirmation that outside half Jarrod Evans has been released ahead of Cardiff Blues' Guinness PRO14 encounter with Benetton Rugby on Sunday, and will link back up with the national squad on Monday.

Wales team to play Italy (Saturday, March 13; KO 15.15 local; ITV & S4C): Liam Williams (69 Caps); Louis Rees-Zammit (7 Caps), George North (100 Caps), Jonathan Davies (86 Caps), Josh Adams (30 Caps); Dan Biggar (90 Caps), Gareth Davies (60 Caps); Wyn Jones (33 Caps), Ken Owens (80 Caps), Tomas Francis (55 Caps), Cory Hill (30 Caps), Alun Wyn Jones (CAPT) (146 Caps), Josh Navidi (26 Caps), Justin Tipuric (83 Caps), Taulupe Faletau (84 Caps)

Replacements: Elliot Dee (35 Caps), Rhys Carre (12 Caps), Leon Brown (15 Caps), Jake Ball (49 Caps), Aaron Wainwright (28 Caps), Lloyd Williams (31 Caps), Callum Sheedy (7 Caps), Uilisi Halaholo (2 Cap)