Uncapped Bristol fly-half Callum Sheedy has been named in the Wales squad for their six-Test autumn schedule.
Wayne Pivac’s 38-man Wales squad faces an intense period of six Tests in as many weeks, featuring a friendly against France, a rescheduled Six Nations appointment with Scotland and four Autumn Nations Cup games against opposition including England and Ireland.
Pivac has named Callum Sheedy in his group alongside six other Test rookies, including Sheedy’s 19-year-old Bristol colleague Ioan Lloyd and Scarlets centre Johnny Williams, who returned to playing early this year after being diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2019.
Cardiff-born Sheedy, 24, also qualified for Ireland through his parents and England on residency, and he represented England in a non-cap game against the Barbarians last year.
Ex-London Irish and Newcastle player Williams, who was born in Weston-super-Mare but whose father is from Rhyl, also featured for an England XV in the same match, scoring a try.
Sheedy has proved a pivotal figure behind Bristol’s qualification for the Gallagher Premiership play-offs and European Challenge Cup final this season, starring alongside high-profile imports like Semi Radradra and Charles Piutau.
On Sheedy’s call-up, Pivac added: “It was about a one-minute phone call in relation to eligibility.
“He told me he was born in Cardiff, raised in Cardiff and he’s Welsh through and through, and I can tell by his accent.
“He was very, very keen to represent his country, and his country is Wales.”
Pivac, meanwhile, also said that fly-half Gareth Anscombe, who suffered a World Cup-ending knee injury last summer, could be out for another 12 months.
On Lloyd, Pivac said: “Ioan is a player that can play 10, 15. He trains a lot at 10. He kicks goals, he can play on the wing, he’s got genuine pace and a good step.
“We think the way we want to play the game going forward that he offers a lot for a young man.
“Now is a very good opportunity for us to look at building the depth we think we are going to need for the World Cup.”
Wales World Cup 2019 squad members Tomas Francis, Rhys Patchell and Jonathan Davies are all back after injury, but injuries sideline Rob Evans, Aaron Shingler, Tomos Williams, Owen Lane and Johnny McNicholl.
Wales autumn squad
Forwards: Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Sam Parry (Ospreys)*, Samson Lee (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Leon Brown (Dragons), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Will Rowlands (Wasps), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues), Cory Hill (Cardiff Blues), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons), Ross Moriarty (Dragons), Taulupe Faletau (Bath), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Josh Macleod (Scarlets)*
Backs: Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets)*, Dan Biggar (Northampton), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets), Callum Sheedy (Bristol)*, Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Nick Tompkins (Dragons), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Johnny Williams (Scarlets)*, George North (Ospreys), Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester)*, Jonah Holmes (Dragons), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets), Ioan Lloyd (Bristol)*, Liam Williams (Scarlets)
*Denotes uncapped player.