Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Rugby | Six Nations

Five uncapped players in Wales squad



Injury-hit Wales named five uncapped players in a 35-man squad on Tuesday for the defence of their Six Nations championship title which gets under way next month.

Unable to call on locks Alun Wyn Jones, Luke Charteris and Bradley Davies through injury, interim coach Rob Howley called up James King and Andrew Coombs for the first time.

Back-row forwards Josh Navidi and Andries Pretorius were also selected, along with wing Eli Walker.

Born in Nelspruit, South Africa, Cardiff Blues captain Pretorius qualifies on residency.

Wales, who won a third Six Nations grand slam in eight years last season but have since lost seven successive games, welcome back influential prop Adam Jones and fellow front-rower Craig Mitchell from injury.

Jones missed all four of Wales' November and December internationals because of a knee injury, as did fullback Lee Byrne who also returns.

With flyhalf Rhys Priestland missing the entire Six Nations through injury after rupturing his Achilles' tendon, Dan Biggar and James Hook will vie for the start at halfback in their opening match at home to Ireland on Feb. 2.

Sam Warburton will captain a side that is also shorn of the services of flanker Dan Lydiate (ankle), prop Aaron Jarvis (knee) and hooker Huw Bennett (Achilles').

"We have put together a very experienced squad and complimented that by rewarding the in-form players with a call-up," Howley, standing in for Warren Gatland who has stepped aside to concentrate on his duties as British and Irish Lions head coach, said in a statement.

"The players in the squad have been playing really well and we have been pleased with their individual performances.

"We have a group of players who know how to win big matches and have experienced success. We are adding to that, players who have stood out and performed well for the regions this season."

After winning the grand slam, Wales were beaten in three tests by Australia in June and have since lost at home to Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia again.

They paid a heavy price for those defeats, dropping into the third tier of seeds for last month's 2015 Rugby World Cup draw when they were paired in the toughest group, alongside Australia and England and two other nations yet to be decided.

Scarlets coach and former international Mark Jones has joined Howley's coaching team as assistant coach (backs) for the tournament.

WALES SQUAD

Forwards: Scott Andrews (Blues), Craig Mitchell (Exeter Chiefs), Adam Jones (Ospreys) Paul James (Bath), Gethin Jenkins (Toulon), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Ryan Jones (Ospreys) Lou Reed (Blues), Ian Evans (Ospreys), James King (Ospreys), Andrew Coombs (Dragons), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Josh Navidi (Blues), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Scarlets), Toby Faletau (Dragons), Andries Pretorius (Blues)

Backs: Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Blues), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), James Hook (Perpignan), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Blues), George North (Scarlets), Eli Walker (Ospreys), Leigh Halfpenny (Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Lee Byrne (Clermont).



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Tony Johnson
A weekend of missed opportunities
For all the good rugby we saw at the weekend, there was a lot of damage done.

Gavin Rich
Positive vibes, but we're still second
There’s been a lot of positivity around South African rugby over the past fortnight, and suddenly...

Brendan Venter
No effort without error
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles…"...

Brenden Nel
How to select a World Cup squad
It struck me like a lightning bolt, one of those moments when you realise in an instant that this...

Kyle Brown
Fast and furious in Tokyo
Just when we thought it wouldn’t get any more physical, Hong Kong and Tokyo happened. We arrived...

Super Wrap
SuperWrap: Week 11, 2015
The party to end all parties. That is how we have to describe our post-match celebrations after the...