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Halfpenny, Owens and Tipuric recalled as experienced Wales squad named

Halfpenny, Owens and Tipuric recalled as experienced Wales squad named

Halfpenny, Owens and Tipuric recalled as experienced Wales squad named

Leigh Halfpenny, Ken Owens and Justin Tipuric have all been recalled to the Wales squad for the Autumn Nations Series.

None of the trio have yet represented their country this year due to injury but have all returned in time to be included in Wayne Pivac’s 35-man squad.

Dan Biggar is the most notable absentee after sustaining a knee injury in Northampton Saints Gallagher Premiership fixture against Newcastle Falcons.

Fellow fly-half Rhys Priestland is recalled having missed the tour of South Africa in the summer, while Christ Tshiunza has earnt a first call-up since last year’s Autumn Nations Series after a strong start to the season with Exeter Chiefs.

Tshiunza’s U20 Six Nations Summer Series teammate Joe Hawkins is included for the first time, as are Rio Dyer, Dane Blacker and Sam Costelow.

Josh Macleod, who was selected in the 2020 Autumn Nations Series and 2021 Guinness Six Nations squads makes up the five uncapped players named in Pivac’s squad.

With Biggar missing through injury, Pivac has not named a captain as yet, despite the presence of 153-cap talisman Alun Wyn Jones, though hinted a decision would be made in the coming days.

Wales begin their autumn campaign against New Zealand on 5 November before taking on Argentina, Georgia and Australia, all of which will take place at Principality Stadium.

“It’s great to have Ken, Justin and Leigh back after long-term injuries,” said head coach Pivac.

“They are three great players who have served Wales very well. They are all British and Irish Lions so quality players.

“We’re excited to have them in the squad for obvious reasons. We have a number of young players in this squad so it will be great for them to rub shoulders with these experienced ones.”

“There’s a lot of young players we’ve been keeping an eye on for a number of years through the age group system and now playing club rugby.

“There’s a view of the here and now in this squad but also beyond Rugby World Cup 2023 to the tournament in 2027, so there’s some young guys getting the opportunity to taste the camp environment.

“They may or may not get game time, but it will be a great experience for them.”

Discussing the captaincy, Pivac said: “For us it’s about finalising the squad today and then we’ll look closely at who’s going to lead the side.

“We have quite a few options with a lot of experience in the squad now. There’s probably an opportunity for more than one captain in this series.”

WALES SQUAD FOR 2022 AUTUMN NATIONS SERIES

Forwards (20)
Rhodri Jones (Dragons – 21 caps)
Nicky Smith (Ospreys – 41 caps)
Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 13 caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 30 caps)
Dewi Lake (Ospreys – 8 caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets – 87 caps)
Tomas Francis (Ospreys – 65 caps)
Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 41 caps)
Sam Wainwright (Saracens – 2 caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys – 37 caps)
Ben Carter (Dragons Rugby – 6 caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys 153 caps)
Will Rowlands (Dragons Rugby – 21 caps)
Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby – 91 caps)
Dan Lydiate (Ospreys – 68 caps)
Josh MacLeod (Scarlets – uncapped)
Jac Morgan (Ospreys – 3 caps)
Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 3 caps)
Justin Tipuric (Ospreys – 86 caps)
Christ Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs – 2 caps)

Backs (15)
Dane Blacker (Scarlets – uncapped)
Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 14 caps)
Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 36 caps)
Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys – 32 caps)
Sam Costelow (Scarlets – uncapped)
Rhys Priestland (Cardiff Rugby – 52 caps)
Joe Hawkins – (Ospreys uncapped)
George North (Ospreys – 105 caps)
Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 23 caps)
Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 33 caps)
Josh Adams – (Cardiff Rugby – 42 caps)
Alex Cuthbert (Ospreys – 52 caps)
Rio Dyer (Dragons Rugby – uncapped)
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets – 96 caps)
Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 19 caps)

Players unavailable for selection due to injury: Taine Basham, Dan Biggar, Leon Brown, Seb Davies, Wyn Jones, Josh Navidi, Johnny Williams, Liam Williams

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