Wales make 10 changes for Italy match
|Six Nations: Italy v Wales|
|Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome Date: Saturday, 9 February Kick-off: 16:45 GMT|
|Coverage: Live on S4C, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.|
Wales have made 10 changes to the side that won in France for Saturday’s Six Nations game against Italy in Rome.
Centre Jonathan Davies is named captain for the first time with regular skipper Alun Wyn Jones among the replacements.
There are first Six Nations starts for wing Jonah Holmes, flankers Thomas Young and Aaron Wainwright and scrum-half Aled Davies.
Captain Davies, Liam Williams, Josh Adams, Adam Beard and Josh Navidi are the only survivors from last Friday.
Young and Holmes will make first Six Nations appearances while Navidi switches to number eight in the only positional change.
Holmes comes in for George North on the wing, while new captain Davies is partnered by Owen Watkin in the midfield.
Scrum-half Aled Davies replaces Tomos Williams and is partnered by Dan Biggar with Gareth Davies and Gareth Anscombe named as replacements.
A fresh front row sees Nicky Smith, Elliot Dee and Samson Lee coming in for Rob Evans, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis, while Jake Ball partners Beard in the second row.
There is a new-look back row with flankers Young and Wainwright either side of Navidi with Ross Moriarty dropping to the replacements bench.
Wales have no major injury concerns with Justin Tipuric (back) and Cory Hill (knee) only carrying minor knocks but it was not thought the duo would have featured this weekend.
“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,” said Gatland.
“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 in Nice, 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.”
Wales: L Williams; Holmes, J Davies (capt), Watkin, Adams; Biggar, A Davies; N Smith, Dee, Lee, Ball, Beard Wainwright, Young, Navidi.
Replacements: Elias, W Jones, D Lewis, Alun Wyn Jones, Moriarty, G Davies, Anscombe, Amos.