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Wales 'excited' to see Adams in midfield battle against Aki and Ringrose

The Cardiff man is usually on the wing but moves to 13 for the visit to Dublin.

Josh Adams starts at 13 for Wales.
Josh Adams starts at 13 for Wales.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

WALES BOSS WAYNE Pivac is backing Josh Adams to make an impact at outside centre in Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Ireland.

Adams usually plays on the wing but has been tasked with pulling on the number 13 shirt in Dublin this weekend with George North and Willis Halaholo missing out due to injury.

Pivac has paired Adams with Saracens centre Nick Tompkins in the Wales midfield, opting against bringing in the experienced Jonathan Davies at 13 for what would have been his 100th Test cap.

Adams was selected at 13 by Wales against Fiji last November and has also started a game in the position for Cardiff in the Champions Cup this season.

Playing in midfield against Ireland is sure to be a tougher test, but Pivac is hoping that Adams can follow the example of North, who is also a converted wing, as he gets set to go up against Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose in midfield.

“One of the talking points is Josh Adams at 13 but we named him there in the autumn,” said Pivac this afternoon.

“It’s something we’re excited to have a look at, we wouldn’t do it if we thought he couldn’t do it.

“You could look at it that way [a gamble] but George made a good fist of it. 

“It’s what they’re doing in training, it’s not like he’s said one or two training sessions. He’s had a number of sessions across different campaigns going back a few months. It’s not foreign to him. He’s played there for Cardiff. He’s really excited about it.”

Adams’ move to midfield means that Johnny McNicholl starts on the right wing, with the thrilling Louis Rees-Zammit on the left and Liam Williams at fullback.

Wales are, of course, missing experienced figures like Alun Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau, and Josh Navidi, meaning Ireland are the favourites on Saturday.

However, Pivac warned that Wales are in no mood to relinquish their Six Nations title.

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“We want to go out there, and each individual wants to put their best foot forward,” said Pivac. “They know there’s a lot at stake as defending champions.

“We worked hard to get that title last year, and we’d like to be in a position to try to do that again.

“They’re very powerful, aren’t they? They had a very good autumn. They built on the last Six Nations and how they finished that competition and they haven’t really looked back since.

“They’re moving a bit more ball than they probably have in the past which makes them a bit more dangerous. They’ve obviously got a power game they can use, but there’s a bit more width in their game now. The defence has to be on their toes.”


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

Bernard Jackman, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey discuss Ireland’s 23 to face Wales, look ahead to the Six Nations generally, and give their thoughts on Malakai Fekitoa’s move from Wasps to Munster.

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