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Wales name squad for Autumn Nations Series

Wales name squad for Autumn Nations Series

Wales name squad for Autumn Nations Series

Gareth Anscombe and Ellis Jenkins have both been recalled to the Wales squad after long-term injuries, with head coach Wayne Pivac naming 38 players for the Autumn Nations Series.

Fly-half Anscombe was the starting No.10 in Wales’ 2019 Six Nations Grand Slam run but sustained a major knee injury on the eve of the World Cup.

Flanker Jenkins has been missing from the international stage for even longer and will be hoping to win his first cap since November 2018, when he suffered his own serious knee injury against South Africa.

There is a first call-up for Exeter Chiefs second row Christ Tshiunza, while Sale prop WillGriff John is the only other uncapped player.

At the other end of the scale 34-year-old fly-half Rhys Priestland is back in the national squad for the first time in four years, while Wasps flanker Thomas Young has been selected after being given special permission ahead of his move to Cardiff next season.

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Wales play four matches in the Autumn Nations Series and open their campaign in two weeks against New Zealand.

The following week they face South Africa, a familiar opponent for the eight Lions selected by Pivac including the captain Alun Wyn Jones, before they also entertain Fiji and Australia.

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There are several notable omissions, with Justin Tipuric, George North, Leigh Halfpenny, Josh Navidi, James Botham and Josh Macleod all currently injured.

“This has been one of the most difficult selections I’ve had to make with less rugby than would have normally taken place ahead of a campaign in addition to injuries and player unavailability,” Pivac said.

“When you look at selection you want to select in-form players but it’s fair to say that a number of players haven’t hit their top form. We have looked at past performances at this level, including a very successful Six Nations campaign, and we’ve cross-credit some of that information into current form if you like.

Autumn Nations Series Fixtures

“Injuries in certain positions, particularly at openside, have forced us to look a little bit deeper than we would normally but what it does mean is that more players have an opportunity to be exposed to this level of rugby. This can only be a good thing as we continue our preparations for the 2023 World Cup.”

Wales squad for Autumn Nations Series 2021
FORWARDS (21)
Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (35 caps)
Rhodri Jones (Ospreys) (21 caps)
Rhys Carre (Cardiff Rugby) (13 caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (82 caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (40 caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (19 caps)
Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby) (31 caps)
WillGriff John (Scarlets) (Uncapped)
Tomas Francis (Ospreys) (57 caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (148 caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys) (25 caps)
Will Rowlands (Dragons) (10 caps)
Ben Carter (Dragons) (3 caps)
Seb Davies (Cardiff Rugby) (9 caps)
Christ Tshiunza* (Exeter Chiefs)  (Uncapped)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (48 caps)
Thomas Young* (Wasps) (3 caps)
Taine Basham (Dragons) (3 caps)
Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Rugby) (11 caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) 31 caps)
Taulupe Faletau* (Bath Rugby) (86 caps)

BACKS (17)
Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby) (25 caps)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (62 caps)
Kieran Hardy (Scarlets) (7 caps)
Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys) (27 caps)
Rhys Priestland (Cardiff Rugby) (50 caps)
Dan Biggar* (Northampton Saints) (92 caps)
Callum Sheedy* (Bristol Bears) (12 caps)
Johnny Williams (Scarlets) (3 caps)
Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (91 caps)
Nick Tompkins* (Saracens) (13 caps)
Uilisi Halaholo (Cardiff Rugby) (7 caps)
Ben Thomas (Cardiff Rugby) (1 cap)
Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby) (32 caps)
Owen Lane (Cardiff Rugby) (4 caps)
Louis Rees-Zammit* (Gloucester Rugby) (9 caps)
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) (5 caps)
Liam Williams (Scarlets) (71 caps)

*Unavailable for selection for New Zealand

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