Owen Watkin swaggers into Warren Gatland’s free-running Wales reboot

The young centre’s bravado and footballing instincts epitomise coach’s free-running tactical shift for the game against Italy

Mum has not been the word in the Wales camp in the build-up to Sunday’s Mother’s Day match against Italy at the Principality Stadium, a sideshow involving the also-rans or, in the case of the Azzurri so far, nonstarters.

“I would like to think we could win quite comfortably,” says the Wales centre Owen Watkin, who will make his first start in the Six Nations, one of 10 personnel changes from the last-round defeat in Dublin. When Wales have taken a scalpel to selection in the past its edge has been blunt and they have not taken comfort in the performances, such as against Georgia last November or Japan a year before.

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