Mason Grady has been selected in the Wales side to face Italy in what could become a crunch wooden spoon decider in Rome on Saturday.

Grady continues Wales’ Six Nations campaign in midfield developing his exciting new partnership with Joe Hawkins.

Grady, a former Ysgol Bro Morgannwg and Ysgol Sant Curig pupil, made his debut against the auld enemy England in Cardiff on February 26.

Despite the result - Wales went down to a 20-10 defeat - Grady received largely positive reviews for his performance, with the Sunday Times sport supplement rating him 8/10 in the match.

Young players backed to learn in crunch Six Nations match versus Italy

Gatland announced his team for the Italy match at just before midday today.

He backed his young players to learn including Grady, Hawkins and Newport Dragons’ Rio Dyer.

“That’s definitely the thinking at the moment,” said Gatland in his press conference.

“We know we have to keep experience around those younger players. Sometimes young players have to make mistakes and they learn from playing at the highest level.”

Gatland reveals more about the threatened Wales team strike

Gatland said the decision whether or whether not to strike created tension in the group over the past few weeks.

The coach revealed there was a "significant split" between his Wales players over the decision not to strike against England.

"There was quite a significant split in the group over which way to go and I think that definitely caused some tension within the group for a couple of weeks,” said Gatland. “If we get Welsh rugby back on the right track I think it will be positive for everyone."

Wales Team to face Italy

15. Liam Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 83 caps)

14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 47 caps)

13. Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby – 1 cap)

12. Joe Hawkins (Ospreys – 4 caps)

11. Rio Dyer (Dragons – 5 caps)

10. Owen Williams (Ospreys – 5 caps)

9. Rhys Webb (Ospreys – 38 caps)

1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets – 46 caps

2. Ken Owens (Scarlets – 89 caps) captain

3. Tomas Francis (Ospreys – 69 caps)

4. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 44 caps)

5. Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs – 4 caps)

6. Jac Morgan (Ospreys – 8 caps)

7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys – 91 caps)

8. Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby – 98 caps)


16. Scott Baldwin (Ospreys – 36 caps)

17. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 18 caps)

18. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 48 caps)

19. Rhys Davies (Ospreys – 1 cap)

20. Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 7 caps)

21. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 43 caps)

22. George North (Ospreys – 111 caps)

23. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 23 caps)