Liam Williams Wales coach Wayne Pivac calls up Willis Halaholo and Johnny McNicholl for Barbarians game

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Liam Williams Wayne Pivac calls up Willis Halaholo and Johnny McNicholl as new Wales coach picks first squad since taking over from Warren Gatland

  • Wayne Pivac has taken the reins as Wales head coach after Warren Gatland’s exit 
  • The former Scarlets coach has called up Johnny McNicholl and Willis Halaholo
  • The two backs are New Zealand-born and could make their first appearances 
  • Wales take on the Barbarians, coached by Gatland, next week at the Principality 

By Will Kelleher For Mailonline


New Wales coach Wayne Pivac picked two New Zealand-born backs in his first squad, which will face Warren Gatland’s Barbarians next week.

Centre Willis Halaholo and back-three player Johnny McNicholl are included in a 35-man squad for the November 30 match at the Principality Stadium as two of five uncapped players.

Halaholo only qualified on residency grounds – having been at the Cardiff Blues since 2016 – last month, and Scarlets’ McNicholl became available for Wales on November 3 having finished the three-year conversion period.

Wayne Pivac has named his first 35-man squad since taking over as head coach of Wales

McNicholl, also 29, has been a fine acquisition for the Scarlets, scoring a try almost every other match, and Halaholo, 29, is a dynamic centre who weighs 16st 3lbs.

Regular captain Alun Wyn Jones and George North are not in the squad as they are carrying knocks.

However, 22 of the group from that tournament are retained including hooker Ken Owens, fl

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