Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has named his first Guinness Six Nations squad which features 38 players, including five uncapped.
Prop WillGriff John, second row Will Rowlands, centre Nick Tompkins and back three duo Johnny McNicholl and Louis Rees-Zammit are all included for Wales’ 2020 campaign as they look to defend their Grand Slam and Six Nations title.
Rhys Carre, Rob Evans and Wyn Jones are the three looseheads named with Leon Brown, Dillon Lewis and John the three tightheads. Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias and Ken Owens are the hookers included. Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Seb Davies, captain Alun Wyn Jones, Cory Hill and Rowlands are named as the second rows.
Taulupe Faletau returns from injury to be included (Faletau’s last Wales appearance was in the Six Nations two years ago) along with back row options of Aaron Shingler, Aaron Wainwright, Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi and Justin Tipuric.
Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams and Rhys Webb, who last played for Wales in December 2017, are named as the three scrum-halves. Dan Biggar, Jarrod Evans and Owen Williams are included, Williams’ last appearance also coming in the autumn of 2017.
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Backline options see the uncapped trio of Tompkins, Rees-Zammit and McNicholl (who made his first appearance for Wales in the uncapped match against the Barbarians in November) join the experienced group of Hadleigh Parkes, Owen Watkin, George North, Josh Adams, Owen Lane, Jonah Holmes, Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams.
“We are really excited to be naming our Six Nations squad and kicking the campaign off,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.
“A lot of time and effort has gone into selecting the squad, all of the coaches have been out and about, seeing players in training, speaking with them and we are pretty excited with the group we have got.
The strategy behind Gloucester's decision to offer Louis Rees-Zammit new terms…https://t.co/NUFT7DgHgU
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 14, 2020
“Looking back to the Barbarians week, that was hugely important for us. We got a lot of ‘firsts’ out of the way, getting to meet and get in front of the players and having a game together was hugely beneficial.
“We do have a couple of injuries but we flip that into seeing it as an opportunity for some new players to impress, with not only the Six Nations in mind but also longer-term and 2023.
“The Six Nations is hugely exciting for me, it is something I grew up watching from afar and it has such history attached to it, I’m really looking forward to the campaign.”
??????? Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has named his first #GuinnessSixNations squad, including five uncapped players.
? WillGriff John, Will Rowlands, Nick Tompkins, Johnny McNicholl a Louis Rees-Zammit yw'r chwaraewyr di-gap yn y garfan.
— Welsh Rugby Union ? (@WelshRugbyUnion) January 15, 2020
Wales’ 2020 Six Nations Squad
Rhys Carre (Saracens) (6 Caps)
Rob Evans (Scarlets) (36 Caps)
Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (22 Caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (29 Caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (9 Caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (73 Caps)
Leon Brown (Dragons) (6 Caps)
WillGriff John (Sale) (*uncapped)
Dillon Lewis (Blues) (22 Caps)
Jake Ball (Scarlets) (42 Caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys) (20 Caps)
Seb Davies (Blues) (7 Caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (134 Caps) (CAPTAIN)
Will Rowlands (Wasps) (*uncapped)
Cory Hill (Dragons) (24 Caps)
Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (26 Caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (18 Caps)
Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (72 Caps)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (41 Caps)
Josh Navidi (Blues) (23 Caps)
Justin Tipuric (Osprey) (72 Caps)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (51 Caps)
Rhys Webb (Toulon) (31 Caps)
Tomos Williams (Blues) (16 Caps)
Dan Biggar (Northampton) (79 Caps)
Owen Williams (Gloucester) (3 Caps)
Jarrod Evans (Blues) (3 Caps)
Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (25 Caps)
Nick Tompkins (Saracens) (*uncapped)
Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (22 Caps)
George North (Ospreys) (91 Caps)
Josh Adams (Blues) (21 Caps)
Owen Lane (Blues) (2 Caps)
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) (*uncapped)
Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester) (*uncapped)
Jonah Holmes (Leicester Tigers) (3 Caps)
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (85 Caps)
Liam Williams (Saracens) (62 Caps)
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