Six Nations 2018: James Davies thought Wales call 'would never happen'

James Davies
Davies was named in Wales' Six Nations squad in January, but Sunday will be his first appearance
Six Nations: Wales v Italy
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Sunday, 11 March Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One Wales & S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Scarlets flanker James Davies will win his first Wales cap against Italy on Sunday, but says he thought it was "never going to happen".

The 27-year-old's inclusion is one of 10 changes to the side that lost to 37-27 Ireland.

Despite several man-of-the-match performances and a Pro12 title with Scarlets, he was left out of Wales' summer tour against Tonga and Samoa.

"It was frustrating, but I have tried to keep working," he said.

Nicknamed "Cubby Boi", he is the younger brother of Wales and Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies and won a silver medal with Team GB's rugby sevens team at the Rio 2016 Olympics.

James and Jonathan Davies
Brotherly love: Jonathan and James Davies celebrate winning the Pro 12 title last year

The wait is now finally over for Davies, who will join experienced internationals Taulupe Faletau and Justin Tipuric in the back row.

Asked if he thought his Wales chance might never come, he said: "Of course you do.

"I felt like I have played consistently but I have not been getting that chance, so you do think it's never going to happen.

"But we are here now, and I have got that chance, and I want to take it with both hands.

"It was frustrating, but I have tried to just keep working on what I need to do a bit better."

Davies said not getting a call up never changed the way he played for Scarlets.

"If anything, my form has got better and better," he said.

James Davies
Davies celebrates victory in Team GB's rugby sevens semi-final match against South Africa

"I am not the kind of person that needs a tap on the backside or someone to say 'chin up'. I just get on with the job."

He added his Olympic experience had served him well, saying the training was "probably the hardest I've done".

"Because of that, you know you can go to the very edge and come out the other end," said Davies.

"It's been tough [training with Wales], but really enjoyable.

"As a rugby player in Wales your dream was to play for Wales, and hopefully, I will go on the pitch on Sunday fit, play well and achieve that dream."

Davies added his brother, currently recovering from injury, is "absolutely chuffed" with his call-up.

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