Rookie replaces injured Wallabies skipper as Wales call in cricket legend’s grandson

Rookie replaces injured Wallabies skipper as Wales call in cricket legend’s grandson


James Botham taking a lineout during a Six Nations clash with England.Credit: AP

Wales coach Warren Gatland also turned to a famous surname when selecting his injury-hit side for the second Test, with James Botham named to start at No.6.

Botham is the grandson of cricketing legend Ian Botham, and the son of Liam Botham, who played professional rugby and rugby league.

James Botham has 12 Test caps for Wales after debuting in 2020, and came off the bench for Wales in Sydney last week.

Gatland was forced into making the change, after experienced No.8 Aaron Wainwright was ruled out due to a leg injury.

Liam Williams overcame an injury concern to be included, but the experienced British and Irish Lions flyer has been named on the wing, covering the loss of Josh Hathaway. Cameron Winnett will start at fullback.

Cale, 23, made his debut from the bench last week and turned in a solid 24-minute stint, including a vital lineout steal in the final 10 minutes.

Born in Dubbo but raised in Sydney, Cale played for Beecroft juniors and the King’s School. The 195cm, 105kg loose forward was recruited into the Brumbies academy after he was spotted playing for Eastwood in the Shute Shield in 2021 and made his debut in Super Rugby in round four in 2023.

Charlie Cale jumps for a lineout at Allianz Stadium.

Charlie Cale jumps for a lineout at Allianz Stadium.Credit: Getty

This year Cale has emerged as a genuine star for the Brumbies, having taken over the role of wide-running back-rower from Pete Samu. Showing incredible pace for a big man, Cale scored several tries for the Brumbies where he outsprinted wingers to touch down.

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Schmidt told SEN radio the victory in Sydney was a “mixed performance”, but said the win had been valuable in the Wallabies’ rebuilding process.

“It’s a relief because you know the confidence you get from having a first-up win,” he said.

“And while that doesn’t mean anything this week, it has meant [a lot regarding] trying to get some systems in place. The players believe in it a bit more if it has contributed to getting on the right side of the ledger.”

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