Video: Gatland explains Wales' Six Nations selection as Halfpenny and Young named
Leigh Halfpenny has been included in Wales’ Six Nations squad and Thomas Young was also called up on Tuesday.
Halfpenny has not played since suffering concussion against Australia in November and is expected to miss at least the first two games of the competition.
The British and Irish Lions full-back was among the names in Warren Gatland’s 39-man squad as he continues his recovery from his latest injury setback.
“We’ll make an assessment when he comes in. I spoke to him last week and he’s delighted to come. He’s just had a baby girl. He’s just honoured to be selected.
“We’ll see where he’s at. He’s been advised to continue training and stuff. If he’s right, he’ll be in contention but if not we’ll have to make some other plans.”
Young could make his Six Nations debut after he was given the nod along with fellow back-row Josh Turnbull.
Jarrod Evans and Jonah Holmes, who made their international bows in November, were also in Gatland’s squad.
Wales face France in Paris in the opening match of the tournament on February 1.
Dan Biggar remains in the shake up for that game
“Biggar’s hopefully going to be ok,” Gatland said. “That’s why we’ve gone for the four tens with Rhys Patchell not being 100%. We wanted to have two fit tens for training in Gareth Anscombe and Jarrod Evans.
“He has a medial injury but he’s a fast healer and hopefully he might be in contention for this game.
Gatland remains positive about his team’s chances and says the opening fixture in Paris will be key to the success of their campaign.
“I think we’ve got a great chance of winning the Six Nations, if we win that opening game,” Gatland said.
“That first game is going to be our toughest. We feel like we are in as good a position as anybody to do well.
“The whole thing about the Six Nations is momentum. If you can win your first couple of games, then you have a great chance of being in contention on the last weekend.
“This is competition time. The autumn was great, but it wasn’t about points.
“This is what we are going to experience in Japan [at the World Cup], so it’s about fronting up and winning games, playing some good rugby, but also thinking about tournament rugby.”
Forwards: Rob Evans, Wyn Jones, Nicky Smith, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Ken Owens, Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Samson Lee, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Seb Davies, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Josh Turnbull, Aaron Wainwright, Thomas Young.
Backs: Aled Davies, Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Jarrod Evans, Rhys Patchell, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Owen Watkin, Scott Williams, Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Steffan Evans, Leigh Halfpenny, Jonah Holmes, George North, Liam Williams.
Watch: Rugby World Cup Japan city guide – Oita
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now