Thomas Young looks set to make his Six Nations debut for Wales in Saturday’s clash against Italy.
The 26-year-old Wasps flanker, whose two previous caps were gained on tour against Tonga and Samoa in 2017, could make Wales’ matchday 23 following last week’s fightback victory over France.
Wales have a 31-man playing group at their Nice training base, and the likes of Young and Leicester back Jonah Holmes – a Test debutant earlier this season – might be involved in Rome.
The 24-19 win against France last Friday – secured after wiping out a 16-point interval deficit – was Wales’ 10th successive victory.
And if they beat Italy for a 13th time on the bounce, it will equal Wales’ all-time unbeaten record of 11 Tests set between 1907 and 1910.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland is due to name his team on Thursday ahead of departure for Rome.
"It's very reminiscent of Llandudno," says Robin McBryde as Wales coaches and players meet the media on the beachfront of Nice. (Allwch chi gymryd y dyn allan o'r Gogledd...) pic.twitter.com/wYNHsU19jO— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) 5 February 2019
Young, son of Wasps rugby director and former Wales prop Dai Young, has been among the Premiership’s strongest performers this season.
And the Stadio Olimpico encounter is likely to offer him an opportunity of leaving an impression early in World Cup year.
“He has been a consistent player,” Wales assistant coach and forwards specialist Robin McBryde said.
“He is a consistent performer for Wasps every week. He’s playing in a league where there are big men week-in, week-out, and the intensity is there.
“He’s had several man-of-the-match awards. In defence he makes intelligent decisions of when to compete for the ball, and in attack he links up with the backs. He is doing that here as well.
“Our training is a bit different to club level – the intensity and metres covered is up – but he has dealt with it.
“It is an opportunity for anyone down here to stake a claim and make a name for themselves. If anyone gets the opportunity, they have to take it and make the most.”
Wales again trained in glorious Cote d’Azur sunshine on Tuesday, and McBryde added: “It’s very reminiscent of Llandudno, so I feel at home.
“It has been good to recuperate after a tough match last Friday night. You couldn’t ask for better surroundings.
“But we have to be aware not to slip into holiday mode. We’ve got some hard work to do before Italy.
"To become Wales' most capped hooker is a huge honour. Over the last 20 years the quality that has come through the hooking berth has been exceptional." - @KenOwens1088— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) 3 February 2019
Read about Ken's Parisian milestone 📰 - https://t.co/bUPQq2WV3Y pic.twitter.com/47nK8wgZdJ
“Everybody realises the importance for the first two games and the momentum it can create by getting positive results.
“We can’t rest on our laurels. Italy are a tough nut to crack, and we have areas to improve on from last Friday.”
Gatland is keeping selection cards close to his chest, but it would be no surprise to see changes being made in the starting XV and on the replacements’ bench.
“Italy will be buoyed by the last 15 minutes when they came back strongly against Scotland (last Saturday),” McBryde said.
“There wasn’t a lot in the game. They showed how dangerous they can be in attack against Scotland. They are comfortable at lineout time, so it will be a big test for us.”
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