London - Wales named South Africa-born forward Andries Pretorius in a 35-man squad announced on Tuesday for the 2013 Six Nations.
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27-year-old Cardiff Blues back-row was one of five uncapped players
chosen by head coach Rob Howley for the defence of the Grand Slam
champions' Six Nations title.
Pretorius, born in Nelspruit, qualifies on residency for Wales and became available for selection last month.
other uncapped players in the squad were Ospreys wing Eli Walker,
Pretorius' fellow Cardiff back-row Josh Navidi and locks James King
(Ospreys) and Andrew Coombs (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Cardiff flank Sam Warburton retained the Wales captaincy.
Wales are currently without several second rows - Alun-Wyn Jones, Luke Charteris and Bradley Davies due to injury.
outside-half Rhys Priestland and prop Aaron Jarvis are also sidelined
ahead of the start of Wales's title defence at home to Ireland on
Former Wales scrumhalf Howley was able to recall
full-back Lee Byrne, now with French club Clermont Auvergne, who has not
featured in a Wales matchday squad since the 2011 Rugby World Cup, and Exeter
prop Craig Mitchell.
But the most heartening front row news for a
Wales squad who lost all of their end-of-year Tests was the return of
star prop Adam Jones from injury.
Former Wales captain Ryan Jones
was also included, although he is doubtful to play against both Ireland
and then France a week later because of a dislocated thumb.
have put together a very experienced squad and complemented that by
rewarding the in-form players with a call-up," said Howley, who will
lead Wales in the Six Nations after head coach Warren Gatland was
seconded to the British and Irish Lions for their tour of Australia
later this year.
"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."
Since completing the Grand Slam, Wales have suffered a slump that has seen them lose seven straight Tests.
final match of this season's Six Nations sees them at home to England, a
match with extra significance as both countries have been drawn in the
same pool for the 2015 World Cup in England.
Lee Byrne (Clermont Auvergne/FRA), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Luke
Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Eli Walker (Ospreys), George North
(Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets),
Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), James Hook
(Perpignan/FRA), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Bayonne/FRA),
Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues).
Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues), Craig Mitchell (Exeter/ENG), Adam Jones
(Ospreys), Paul James (Bath/ENG), Gethin Jenkins (Toulon/FRA), 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 (Newport Gwent
Dragons), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Aaron
Shingler (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff
Blues, captain) Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), Andries Pretorius
Wales' Six Nations fixturesFebruary 2: v Ireland, Cardiff
February 9: v France, Paris
February 23: v Italy, Rome
March 9: v Scotland, Murrayfield
March 16: v England, Cardiff