Home RBS Six Nations 2018 Gatland names two uncapped players

Gatland names two uncapped players

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Wales have named a 39-man squad for the Six Nations, led by Alun Wyn Jones and featuring two uncapped players, James Davies and Josh Adams.

The uncapped duo are called into a Wales squad for the first time and will link up with the experienced squad when they convene at the National Centre of Excellence next Monday.

Rob Evans, Wyn Jones and Nicky Smith who all featured in the recent Under Armour Series are named with Dillon Lewis, who made his debut on the 2017 Summer Tour, Tomas Francis and Samson Lee. Scott Baldwin is recalled to the squad and is named alongside Ken Owens and Elliot Dee at hooker.

57-times capped second-row Bradley Davies features alongside skipper Jones, Cory Hill, Seb Davies and Adam Beard.

In the back-row Davies joins Cardiff Blues duo Ellis Jenkins and Josh Navidi, fellow Scarlet Aaron Shingler and British & Irish Lions Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty and Taulupe Faletau.

Aled Davies, Gareth Davies and Rhys Webb are named as the scrum-halves, with Dan Biggar, Rhys Patchell, Rhys Priestland and Gareth Anscombe as fly-halves. Owen Watkin and Hadleigh Parkes, who both made their debut last autumn, feature alongside Owen and Scott Williams.

Worcester wing Adams is named alongside Hallam Amos and Steff Evans along with Lions quartet George North, Liam Williams, Alex Cuthbert and Leigh Halfpenny.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland said: “It is an exciting opportunity for the two new caps. James’ form over the last couple of years has been impressive, he’s in a competitive area but we look forward to seeing what he can do. For Josh it’s a great opportunity, he’s been on great form and the back-three is somewhere we are looking to create depth in.

“We have selected a larger squad and it is an opportunity for us to work with a wider group and continue building for the next 18 months. It’s important to have a group of players who are used to the environment, know what is expected and are familiar with things and that will really benefit us going forward.

“We have included a couple of players who are carrying injuries. With Taulupe we are hoping he will be available towards the end of the campaign and Rhys (Priestland) picked up a knock at the weekend so we will see where he is at. It’s useful to have these experienced guys around camp and to have them included and to work with them.

“Last autumn was about exposing and developing players as part of the two-year countdown to the RWC, the next couple of months are about testing those players in tournament rugby – we know how important the Six Nations is.”

Wales squad:

Forwards: Rob Evans, Wyn Jones, Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Elliot Dee, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Samson Lee, Dillon Lewis, Adam Beard, Bradley Davies, Seb Davies, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones (c), James Davies, Taulupe Faletau, Ellis Jenkins, Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Aaron Shingler, Justin Tipuric

Backs: Aled Davies, Gareth Davies, Rhys Webb, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Rhys Patchell, Rhys Priestland, Hadleigh Parkes, Owen Watkin, Owen Williams, Scott Williams, Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Alex Cuthbert, Steff Evans, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Liam Williams

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