Wales have named one uncapped player in their starting XV to kick off the 2020 Guinness Six Nations with wing Johnny McNicholl earning his first international cap.
McNicholl lines up in a side packed with experience as Wales begin their campaign at Principality Stadium on Saturday and is joined in the back-three by Josh Adams and Leigh Halfpenny.
Hadleigh Parkes and George North partner in midfield, with North making his fifth start in the centre berth for his country.
Tomos Williams and Dan Biggar line-up at half-back.
Wyn Jones, Ken Owens and Dillon Lewis comprise the front-row with Jake Ball partnering captain Alun Wyn Jones in the second-row.
Aaron Wainwright and Justin Tipuric are joined by Taulupe Faletau in the back-row, with the number eight making his first international appearance since March 2018.
“I’m really happy with the side and really looking forward to this weekend,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.
#WALvITA TEAM 🗒 Johnny McNicholl set for first cap, uncapped Nick Tompkins named on bench for #GuinnessSixNations opener in Cardiff 🏴 Taulupe Faletau yn dychwelyd i'r tîm am y tro cyntaf ers y Chwe Gwlad 2018. #HWFN— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) January 30, 2020
📰 – https://t.co/z6tisudiYP pic.twitter.com/pyCLxi72Cg
“It is great for Johnny McNicholl to get his first cap, I thought he played really well against the Barbarians so it is a great opportunity for him this weekend.
“George has had a number of games in the midfield for Wales and more recently for the Ospreys and he has been running there in training. We have been impressed with him there and he is excited by the opportunity.
“Nick (Tompkins) has trained really well and has impressed and we are looking forward to seeing him at some stage during the game.
Wales team to face Italy:
15. Leigh Halfpenny (85 Caps)
14. Johnny McNicholl (*Uncapped)
13. George North (91 Caps)
12. Hadleigh Parkes (25 Caps)
11. Josh Adams (21 Caps)
10. Dan Biggar (79 Caps)
9. Tomos Williams (16 Caps)
1. Wyn Jones (22 Caps)
2. Ken Owens (73 Caps)
3. Dillon Lewis (22 Caps)
4. Jake Ball (42 Caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (C) (134 Caps)
6. Aaron Wainwright (18 Caps)
7. Justin Tipuric (72 Caps)
8. Taulupe Faletau (72 Caps)
16. Ryan Elias (9 Caps)
17. Rob Evans (36 Caps)
18. Leon Brown (6 Caps)
19. Cory Hill (24 Caps)
20. Ross Moriarty (41 Caps)
21. Rhys Webb (31 Caps)
22. Jarrod Evans (3 Caps)
23. Nick Tompkins (*Uncapped)