Wales name Ellis Jenkins captain for Fiji clash

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Cardiff flanker Ellis Jenkins will captain Wales in Sunday’s Autumn Nations Series clash against Fiji.

Jenkins delivered an outstanding performance on his return to Test rugby after a three-year injury absence when Wales were beaten narrowly by world champions South Africa last weekend.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has handed starts to Ospreys wing Alex Cuthbert – his first Wales appearance for four years – flanker Thomas Young and scrum-half Kieran Hardy, while Josh Adams moves from wing to centre, where he is partnered in midfield by Johnny Williams.

And there is a place on the bench for uncapped 19-year-old Exeter forward Christ Tshiunza, where he is joined by players such as Bristol fly-half Callum Sheedy and Ospreys prop Gareth Thomas.

Tshiunza, a second-row or back-row player, was born in DR Congo but moved to Wales in 2010 and is a product of Whitchurch High School in Cardiff, whose past pupils also include Sam Warburton, Gareth Bale and Geraint Thomas.

Wasps flanker Young’s call-up is the only change to the pack, although flanker Taine Basham switches to number eight instead of an injured Aaron Wainwright.

Thomas Young is back in the team
Thomas Young is back in the team (Steven Paston/PA)

Behind the scrum, Liam Williams makes a first start of the autumn campaign, lining up at full-back, with Dan Biggar again wearing the number 10 shirt.

Cuthbert, meanwhile, wins his 49th cap, having last featured for Wales against Georgia in November 2017.

On Tshiunza’s selection, Pivac said: “He has come in and he has trained well. We are looking at him as a player, in the future, who can hopefully cover two positions, in the second-row and at six.

“We are really looking forward to seeing him out there. He will be full of energy, he is very excited about the opportunity and he is one for the future.”

Wayne Pivac has named his team to face Fiji
Wayne Pivac has named his team to face Fiji (David Davies/PA)

Pivac continued: “We want to be able to use our squad where we can. In terms of the forwards, we don’t have a lot of options with injuries and unavailability.

“The exciting one is Josh Adams getting an opportunity. That is really looking at the future.

“When you have to pick a World Cup squad of 33, you’ve got to have players that can play in more than one position and we have been wanting to do it for a while, so we will see how Josh goes in the midfield.

“The introduction of Alex Cuthbert, along with Louis Rees-Zammit, is an eye on the speed that the Fijians will bring, and we need to be able to match that.”

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