Wales name team to face Fiji as Ellis Jenkins captains and Exeter ace eyes debut

Wayne Pivac has made six changes to his Wales line-up for Sunday's autumn Test at home to Fiji, which includes a comeback for winger Alex Cuthbert four years after his last cap.

Former Cardiff winger Cuthbert hasn't appeared for his country since November 2017, having enjoyed a three-season stay at Exeter Chiefs before returning to Wales with Ospreys this past summer.

Liam Williams has also been restored at full-back after coming on as a substitute in Saturday's 23-18 defeat to South Africa, while winger Josh Adams has moved infield to make his first Test start at centre.

Fly-half Dan Biggar is the only surviving member of the back line who will start in the same position, while scrum-half Kieran Hardy has replaced the benched Tomos Williams in the No. 9 jersey.

Cardiff flanker Ellis Jenkins will captain the side after his star performance against the Springboks last weekend, with usual skipper Alun Wyn Jonessidelined for the remainder of the autumn.

Thomas Young—who will join Jenkins at the Arms Park from Wasps next year—will end his own international exile of two-and-a-half years against Fiji, who have won once in 12 meetings with Wales.

“Fiji are big, powerful and very quick out-wide," said the coach after Wednesday's squad announcement.

"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. The offloading game that they bring is certainly different to the South Africans.

What do you think is the most surprising change to Wales' XV against Fiji? Let us know in the comments section.

“They are a good side. They’re a much-improved side of some of the Fiji teams of old, certainly since when I was involved with Fiji they’ve come along.”

Dragons prospect Taine Basham will move to No. 8 in place of Aaron Wainwright, and there's excitement building around the possibility of a Christ Tshiunza debut off the bench at the Principality Stadium.

The Congo-born Exeter forward is only 19 but has been tipped for a big future, having represented England's under-20 team before transitioning to their Welsh counterparts.

“He’s come in, he’s trained well and with Ben Carter at 20 years of age and Christ at 19 it’s very exciting," Pivac said of the youngest options at his disposal.

"We’re looking at him as a player, in the future, who can hopefully cover two positions, in the second row and at six. We’re really looking forward to seeing him out there. He’ll be full of energy, he’s very excited about the opportunity and he’s one for the future.”

Wales are still yet to win this autumn following back-to-back losses against New Zealand and South Africa.

Wales team to face Fiji

Liam Williams; Alex Cuthbert, Josh Adams, Johnny Williams, Louis Rees-Zammit; Dan Biggar, Kieran Hardy; Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Adam Beard, Ellis Jenkins (c), Thomas Young, Taine Basham

Reps: Bradley Roberts, Gareth Thomas, WillGriff John, Christ Tshiunza, Seb Davies, Tomos Williams, Callum Sheedy, Nick Tompkins

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