WALES have named five uncapped players in their 34-man squad for their summer tests.
The 2021 Guinness Six Nations Champions will face three home games against Canada and Argentina this July and head coach Wayne Pivac has selected a squad that features experience as well as youth as he continues his preparations for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Uncapped former Wales U20 Gareth Thomas is named alongside fellow Ospreys loosehead props Rhodri Jones and Nicky Smith. Experienced trio Leon Brown, Tomas Francis and Dillon Lewis are named as the tight-heads.
Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias and Sam Parry, who made his debut back in the Autumn Nations Cup, are named as the three hookers in the squad.
Adam Beard, Cory Hill and Will Rowlands, who were all part of Wales’ Six Nations squad, are named as the second-rows alongside uncapped Dragon Ben Carter.
James Botham, Josh Navidi and Aaron Wainwright are joined by Ross Moriarty who returns from injury to be selected alongside Josh Turnbull, who last featured for Wales in Argentina in 2018, and Dragons back-row Taine Basham, who whilst uncapped has previously featured in Wales squads.
Kieran Hardy and Tomos Williams who both featured in Wales’ Six Nations triumph are named along with Rhodri Williams (whose last match for Wales came in 2014) as the scrum-halves.
Callum Sheedy and Jarrod Evans have been named as the two fly-halves.
Jonathan Davies is named in the squad as captain, a role he previously fulfilled for his country in the 2019 Six Nations versus Italy. Willis Halaholo who made his debut in the Six Nations is named along with Nick Tompkins and uncapped Cardiff Rugby and former Wales U20 centre Ben Thomas, who can also cover fly-half.
Leigh Halfpenny, who is on 99 test caps (including 4 British & Irish Lions caps), is named along with Hallam Amos, Jonah Holmes (who missed the Six Nations through injury), Owen Lane (who last featured for Wales in the RWC Bronze medal match versus New Zealand), Ioan Lloyd who can play across the back-three and at fly-half and uncapped Scarlets back Tom Rogers.
“We are really looking forward to this summer, getting to work with this squad and the three home tests that we will face,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.
“It is great that we are able to select five uncapped players in the squad. It is an opportunity, much like the autumn campaign last year, to get these players into the environment and to expose them to test match preparation and in some cases test match rugby.
“This summer isn’t just about the uncapped players it is also about internationals gaining more experience. It is a chance for them to get more starts and appearances under their belt and to step into leadership roles so it is going to be an important period for us.
“We will have a training camp in North Wales before returning to Cardiff for our three tests so it is a great block of time we have together.
“Whilst the Six Nations success is still fresh in many people’s memories it is important we continue to build both depth and our game as we continue to the RWC 2023.”
Rhodri Jones (Ospreys) (20 Caps)
Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (39 Caps)
Gareth Thomas (Ospreys) (*Uncapped)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (37 Caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (17 Caps)
Sam Parry (Ospreys) (4 Caps)
Leon Brown (Dragons) (17 Caps)
Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (57 Caps)
Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby) (28 Caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys) (25 Caps)
Ben Carter (Dragons) (*Uncapped)
Cory Hill (Cardiff Rugby) (32 Caps)
Will Rowlands (Wasps) (7 Caps)
Taine Basham (Dragons) (*Uncapped)
James Botham (Cardiff Rugby) (6 Caps)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (45 Caps)
Josh Navidi (Cardiff Rugby) (28 Caps)
Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Rugby) (10 Caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (29 Caps)
Kieran Hardy (Scarlets) (4 Caps)
Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby) (22 Caps)
Rhodri Williams (Dragons) (3 Caps)
Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears) (9 Caps)
Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Rugby) (6 Caps)
Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (88 Caps) (CAPT)
Willis Halaholo (Cardiff Rugby) (4 Caps)
Nick Tompkins (Saracens) (10 Caps)
Ben Thomas (Cardiff Rugby) (*Uncapped)
Hallam Amos (Cardiff Rugby) (23 Caps)
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (95 Caps)
Jonah Holmes (Dragons) (5 Caps)
Owen Lane (Cardiff Rugby) (2 Caps)
Ioan Lloyd (Bristol Bears) (2 Caps)
Tom Rogers (Scarlets) (*Uncapped)