Wales head coach Pivac names surprise Six Nations squad

Josh Macleod of Scarlets is set to make his first appearance for Wales in the upcoming Six Nations tournament. Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Wales have named uncapped Scarlets backrow Josh Macleod in their 36-man squad for the Six Nations, while there is a recall for loose-forward Dan Lydiate, who last featured three years ago.

Monaco-born Macleod is a former Wales Under-20 international who plays as an openside flanker and is widely regarded for his defensive work.

There are few surprises in the selection from coach Wayne Pivac, who has endured a difficult first year in charge of the side after replacing Warren Gatland, but is optimistic better days are ahead for Wales in this year's Six Nations.

Scrumhalf Kieran Hardy, flyhalf Callum Sheedy, centre Johnny Williams and wing Louis Rees-Zammit have been retained after impressing in the Autumn Internationals at the end of last year, while influential scrumhalf Tomos Williams will return to the squad after being injured.

"The Six Nations is an important tournament and we have selected a squad accordingly," Pivac said in a statement.

"As we consistently spoke about, the autumn for us was about opportunity and development, looking ahead to the Rugby World Cup in 2023, and it served that purpose for us.

"This campaign is different, it is tournament rugby and we are excited to get going and to play our part. We have picked a squad for this tournament based on form and we are excited to meet up on Monday and to get our preparation underway."

Loose-forward Ross Moriarty is one of a number of injury absentees, along with flyhalves Gareth Anscombe and Rhys Patchell, meanwhile Alun Wyn Jones has been named in the squad despite suffering with a knee injury in December.

Wales open their Six Nations campaign at home to Ireland on Feb. 7. It will be a crucial tournament for Pivac after his side won only three of their 10 tests in 2020, with those victories coming against lowly Georgia and two versus Italy.

Full Wales squad


Rhys Carre, Wyn Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Rhodri Jones, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Ken Owens, Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Will Rowlands, Cory Hill, Dan Lydiate, Josh Navidi, Aaron Wainwright, Taulupe Faletau, Josh MacLeod, Justin Tipuric.


Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams, Kieran Hardy, Dan Biggar, Callum Sheedy, Jarrod Evans, Johnny Williams, Jonathan Davies, Nick Tompkins, Owen Watkin, George North, Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Louis Rees-Zammit, Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams.