Welsh rookies for Bok clash
Bloemfontein – Wales have included 19-year-old scrumhalf Tavis Knoyle as one of three rookies in their squad of 27 players for the June 5 clash against the Springboks in Cardiff.
Like the two other newcomers in the squad – hooker Ken Owens and No 8 Rob McCusker – Knoyle plays for the Llanelli Scarlets.
The inclusion of Knoyle and another 19-year-old, Tom Prydie (fullback/wing), shows that coach Warren Gatland is thinking of the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.
“I believe that if you’re good enough you’re old enough – as in the case of Tom and Tavis,” Gatland told Wales’ official website.
“We picked a small squad with a number of young players in it. We’ll keep on showing belief in the youngsters. Tom will gain experience by playing with Shane Williams and Lee Byrne.
“We’re excited about Tavis, who is a big and strong player. He is being likened to Mike Phillips and has an excellent pass.”
Gatland also surprised with a recall for 28-year-old Andy Powell. He had been axed during the Six Nations following an incident on a golf cart when he was apparently under the influence of alcohol.Wales’ squad:
Lee Byrne (Ospreys), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Shane Williams (Ospreys), Tom Prydie (Ospreys), Andrew Bishop (Ospreys), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Ospreys), Richie Rees (Cardiff Blues), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets).
Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Paul James (Ospreys), Adam Jones (Ospreys), John Yapp (Cardiff Blues), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Huw Bennett (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Deiniol Jones (Cardiff Blues), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Thomas (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues), Andy Powell (Cardiff Blues), Rob McCusker (Scarlets), Ryan Jones (Ospreys).