Wales is desperate. Wayne Pivac’s accusations are on a six-game losing streak and, you feel, there will be dire consequences if they don’t against Georgia tonight at Llanelli.
England sent the Lelos 40-0 to Twickenham last weekend, but the visitors remain eager to prove their worth in the three remaining matches of the Fall Nations Cup.
Once again this week, skipper Merab Sharikadze suggested that the best way for his country to grow would be to create a franchise – possibly based in Tbilisi – to join the Pro 14.
And they can call on memories of a strong performance against Wales. In last year’s Rugby World Cup Georgia were beaten 43-14 in Aichi.
However, in November 2017 they battled hard in Cardiff before finally going down 13-6. Dan Lydiate was due to make 27 tackles for the hosts that day.
Georgia head coach Levan Maisashvili has made five changes to his roster. Scrum-half Vasil Lobzhanidze, who replaced last weekend, is chosen alongside scrum-half Tedo Abzhandadze.
Sandro Todua started on the left wing, as did Jaba Bregvadze on hooker and Kote Mikautadze on lock.
It might have been easy for Pivac to play it safe and maintain familiar faces in pursuit of a morale-boosting victory.
To his credit, and perhaps with an eye on a meeting with England next weekend, he’s brought in a wave of youngsters.
Justin Tipuric is the team’s captain, but there are test debuts for flanker James Botham, center Johnny Williams and scrum half Kieran Hardy.
Bristol Bears half-butterfly Callum Sheedy gets a first start for Wales, as does fast winger Louis Rees-Zammit. Beware of the introduction of Ioan Lloyd, who would become a fourth debut capper, off the bench.
The nations start the day in ninth and 12th position respectively in the World Rugby rankings. Wales, the higher of the two, will want to strengthen a quality gap with a convincing win.
15. Liam Williams, 14. Johnny McNicholl, 13. Nick Tompkins, 12. Johnny Williams, 11. Louis Rees-Zammit, 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Kieran Hardy; 1. Wyn Jones, 2. Elliot Dee, 3. Samson Lee, 4. Jake Ball, 5. Seb Davies, 6. Justin Tipuric (captain), 7. James Botham, 8. Aaron Wainwright
Alternates: 16. Sam Parry, 17. Nicky Smith, 18. Leon Brown, 19. Cory Hill, 20. James Davies, 21. Rhys Webb, 22. Ioan Lloyd, 23. Jonah Holmes
15. Lasha Khmaladze, 14. Akaki Tabutsadze, 13. Giorgi Kveseladze, 12. Merab Sharikadze (captain.), 11. Sandro Todua, 10. Tedo Abzhandadze, 9. Vasil Lobzhanidze; 1. Mikheil Nariashvili, 2. Jaba Bregvadze, 3. Beka Gigashvili, 4. Grigor Kerdikoshvili, 5. Kote Mikautadze, 6. Otar Giorgadze, 7. Beka Saginadze, 8. Beka Gorgadze
Alternates: 16. Giorgi Chkoidze, 17. Guram Gogichashvili, 18. Lexo Kaulashvili, 19. Lasha Jaiani, 20. Giorgi Tkhilaishvili, 21. Gela Aprasidze, 22. Demur Tapladze, 23. Tamaz Mchedlidze