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Pivac praises Wales after “step in right direction”

Louis Rees-Zammit of Wales celebrates his try with Johnny Williams and Aaron Wainwright

Pivac praises Wales after “step in right direction”

Wayne Pivac said his Wales side had taken a step in the right direction after beating Georgia 18-0 and then looked ahead to the “different proposition” of facing England.

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In awful conditions in Llanelli, Wales won thanks to tries from Louis Rees-Zammit and Rhys Webb.

Influential captain Justin Tipuric was forced off after taking a swinging arm to the head in the second half while fly-half Callum Sheedy – on his first start – kicked the rest of Wales’ points.

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“We took a step in the right direction across the board,” said Pivac.

“I thought in the areas we expected Georgia to come at us, we went very well. We went well in the scrum and the line-outs and we didn’t concede there.

“I thought the work that went in during the week paid dividends. There were some good performances.

“There is still plenty to work on and it was far from perfect, but it was a step in the right direction for the guys who got the opportunity.

“England are obviously a totally different proposition so we’ll review the game and we’ll make a selection based on putting a side out there that we think can get the job done.

“England are a formidable side with a lot of talent. They are a big side so they are going to be a challenge and a handful for us.

“I think we need to build on our set-piece against a strong England side. If we could beat England that would certainly make up for some of the performances we’ve put in.”

Wales’ breakdown and set-piece was excellent against Georgia as they dominated at scrum time.

Props Wyn Jones and Samson Lee put their hands up to start against England after dismantling Los Lelos in the tight while lock Jake Ball also had a fine game.

Pivac made 13 changes handing debuts to Johnny Williams, Kieran Hardy, James Botham and Ioan Lloyd.

The Wales head coach was left raving about the performance of Scarlets playmaker Williams.

Pivac said: “Johnny is very excited and he’s very pleased with his performance. I think in the conditions he did well.

“Before you can go wide you have to go forward and Johnny was one of the guys who put us on the front foot by getting us over the gain-line. He had a really impressive game.

“It was very difficult, but to come away with a win was pleasing, particularly for the young guys who got a start. Young Ioan came off the bench with Callum also having his first start.

“I thought those boys all contributed well. In terms of the depth in the squad we’ve seen some players play for the first time and play reasonably well.

“From that point of view, it was pleasing.”

Captain Tipuric emerged as a doubt for the visit of Eddie Jones’ England after he was felled by a forearm to the face.

He said: “I’ve just seen Justin in the corridor and he’s chatting away … It certainly looked a nasty forearm to the face so unfortunately it put paid to Justin for the rest of the match.

“Taulupe Faletau will be fine for England and with Josh Navidi. We’ll have to wait and see.”

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