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Rogers blown away ahead of Wales debut

Tom Rogers will win his first Wales cap against Canada on Saturday

Rogers blown away ahead of Wales debut

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Tom Rogers declared himself “over the moon” after learning he will win his first senior Wales cap against Canada at Principality Stadium on Saturday.

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Scarlets wing Rogers, 22, is one of five players who will make their Test debuts this weekend and he is joined in the starting line-up by Dragons lock Ben Carter.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac also has fresh faces Gareth Thomas, Taine Basham and Ben Thomas among his replacements for the Canada game.

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Rogers’ imminent international bow will cap what has been a remarkable season for the former Wales age grade and sevens back.

“I’m over the moon and just looking forward to getting on to the pitch now,” said Rogers.

“I didn’t expect to be here to be honest because there is a lot of competition here. It’s been very intense and I have learnt a lot in the last few days from other players.

“It’s been an honour to play and train with Leigh Halfpenny. He’s very professional in everything he does and I have learned so much off him.”

Rogers was not selected for the Wales Under-20 squad for the Junior World Cup of 2018, but he has bounced back impressively since that snub.

He has had a breakthrough campaign at the Scarlets and scored a remarkable individual try against Connacht this season.

Rogers also used lockdown wisely by building himself a gym at home.

He has reaped the rewards of that decision and has now progressed to the senior Wales side.

“I thought it was a good opportunity to kick on and use it as an advantage for me. I did not want to just sit in the house doing nothing,” said Rogers of his lockdown gym work.

“I was obviously gutted not to make that Under-20 squad, but it motivated me to prove I should have gone. It made me a better player.

“I phoned my mother and father when I made the squad. They were over the moon for me and crying.

“They’ve been with me from the start and were very emotional.

“They’ve taken me everywhere and given me everything I needed. They’ve been awesome and amazing and they’ll be the first in the stadium this weekend I can guarantee that.”

Saturday’s game with Canada will be the first at Principality Stadium to have fans since the 2020 Guinness Six Nations game with France.

There will be 8,200 supporters at the home of Welsh rugby.

“It will be amazing to have a bit of noise and it will be nice,” said Rogers.

“There is a bus full of my mates from our club Cefneithin coming up to watch on Saturday so they’ll be making a lot of noise.”

Rogers is the first Cefneithin product since the great Barry John in 1966 to win a senior Welsh cap.

“I’ll try and relax and cherish every moment on the pitch,” said Rogers.

“Playing for Wales has always been a goal of mine since I was a kid, but I never thought it would come so soon. I think I played my third or fourth professional game this season.

“It’s come quite quickly, but I am just honoured.”

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