Wales have picked two uncapped players who have represented England for their autumn internationals squad – Callum Sheedy and Johnny Williams.
Cardiff-born Sheedy, 24, who also qualifies for Ireland, has been a star at fly-half for Bristol this year.
Last summer he appeared in an England XV exhibition match against the Barbarians for just five minutes off the bench.
Callum Sheedy and Johnny Williams have been picked for Wales after representing England
Wayne Pivac has named seven uncapped players in his squad for the autumn internationals
Sheedy has consistently kept his cards close to his chest on his allegiance until now, but having been raised in the Welsh capital and selected by Wayne Pivac he is in line for a first Test cap for his home nation.
Williams, formerly of London Irish and Newcastle, played in that England v Barbarians game for just over an hour too, scoring a try.
The 23-year-old centre moved to the Scarlets in January having overcome testicular cancer. He qualifies via his father, who is from Rhyl.
Sheedy also qualifies for Ireland but played five minutes in an exhibition game for England
The pair are two of seven uncapped players in Pivac’s 38-man autumn squad.
Sam Parry, the 28-year-old Ospreys hooker, and Scarlets flanker Josh Macleod, 23, are included in the forwards and in the backs Kieran Hardy, the 23-year-old Scarlets scrum-half, Bristol’s 19-year-old full-back Ioan Lloyd and Gloucester flyer Louis Rees-Zammit, 19, are all in too.
Returning from injury are centre Jonathan Davies, prop Tomas Francis and playmaker Rhys Patchell.
Wales face France in a friendly on October 24, before concluding the 2020 Six Nations at home to Scotland.
Then they go into the newly devised Autumn Nations Cup in a group with England, Ireland and Georgia during November and December.
WALES SQUAD AUTUMN 2020
Forwards (21): Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues, 8 Caps), Wyn Jones (Scarlets, 25 Caps), Nicky Smith (Ospreys, 35 Caps), Ken Owens (Scarlets, 77 Caps), Ryan Elias (Scarlets, 13 Caps), Sam Parry (Ospreys)*, Samson Lee (Scarlets, 41 Caps), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues, 26 Caps), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs, 48 Caps), Leon Brown (Dragons, 10 Caps), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, 138 Caps), Will Rowlands (Wasps, 1 Cap), Jake Ball (Scarlets, 46 Caps), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues, 7 Caps), Cory Hill (Cardiff Blues, 25 Caps), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons, 21 Caps), Ross Moriarty (Dragons, 45 Caps), Taulupe Faletau (Bath, 76 Caps), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues, 24 Caps), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, 76 Caps), Josh Macleod (Scarlets)*.
Backs (17): Rhys Webb (Ospreys, 33 Caps), Gareth Davies (Scarlets, 53 Caps), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets)*, Dan Biggar (Northampton, 83 Caps), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets, 19 Caps), Callum Sheedy (Bristol)*, Owen Watkin (Ospreys, 22 Caps), Nick Tompkins (Dragons, 4 Caps), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets, 81 Caps), Johnny Williams (Scarlets)*, George North (Ospreys, 95 Caps), Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues, 24 Caps), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester)*, Jonah Holmes (Dragons, 3 Caps), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets, 89 Caps), Ioan Lloyd (Bristol)*, Liam Williams (Scarlets, 63 Caps)
‘We are looking forward to getting back to international rugby and getting the squad together again,’ said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.
‘This campaign is hugely important looking to the future and long term to the RWC in 2023.
‘We kick off the campaign with a game against France which will help prepare us for the re-arranged Six Nations match versus Scotland which is an important game and important we get a good performance from.
‘We then go into the Autumn Nations Cup (ANC) which is an exciting tournament and a great opportunity for us. It is a chance for us to continue developing our game, give opportunities to players and test them at this level. It is ideal preparation for the all-important 2021 Six Nations which will come around quickly after the ANC.’
Williams played in the same England exhibition game for an hour and even scored a try
Five players were unavailable due to injury – Rob Evans, Aaron Shingler, Tomos Williams, Owen Lane and Johnny McNicholl.
On Sheedy’s call-up, Pivac said: ‘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.
‘We’ve had some well-documented injuries in the 10 position. Gareth (Anscombe) is out for a year, Rhys Patchell is just back from a long lay-off since the World Cup. He’s played about 13 minutes of rugby.
‘So we are always looking at depth in that position. Callum has been playing well for Bristol, and we think he has a good all-round game. He has a big future in front of him.’
And on Williams Pivac added: ‘He has always been looking to come to Wales and represent Wales. He played for England against the Barbarians in a non-Test match, and he thinks he has an exciting future.
‘He’s got good acceleration, looks to have a good off-loading game.’
Gareth Anscombe has not played since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament last summer
The news on Anscombe, 29, was grim. The fly-half ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament before the World Cup last summer and has not played since. Pivac revealed he has had more surgery and will not be seen for the majority of the 2020-21 season – meaning it will almost be two years out for the playmaker.
‘Gareth will miss the majority, if not all, of this season, so we are looking at 12 months,’ said Pivac.
‘He’s a quality player. He was playing a lot in the number 10 jersey leading up to the World Cup, and then he sustained the injury in a warm-up game.
‘To have him out for so long is not great, but he is working very, very hard.’