Rugby

Wales name squad for Boks, November Tests

2017-10-24 12:35
Alun-Wyn Jones (AFP)

Cardiff - Wales great Jamie Roberts faced further disappointment on Tuesday after being left out of the squad for their four autumn Tests.

The 30-year-old failed to make this year's British and Irish Lions squad and now head coach Warren Gatland has left the 93-times capped player out of the Tests with Australia, Georgia, world champions New Zealand and South Africa.

There is a first call-up for New Zealand-born Hadleigh Parkes, even though the 30-year-old Scarlets utility back will only be eligible for selection due to residency rules for the final Test against the Springboks on December 2.  

Gatland, who will lock horns again with the All Blacks having guided the Lions to a sensational 1-1 series tie with the third Test drawn, recalls flyhalf Rhys Priestland who won the last of his 48 caps in 2016.

He will vie with Dan Biggar for the playmaking role and probably partnering scrumhalf Rhys Webb.

Webb's ill-timed move to Toulon next year could see his Test career brought to an abrupt end thanks to new rules which stipulate players plying their trade abroad must have at least 60 caps to be eligible for selection.

There is no place either for hooker Scott Baldwin, whose now infamous encounter with a lion at a game park in South Africa resulted in his hand being bitten.

Gatland, though, said he is looking forward to seeing how the less experienced players melded in with the World Cup in Japan just two years away. 

"I'm really excited about this squad as we kick off the two year countdown to the 2019 Rugby World Cup," said Gatland.

"We see this series as an opportunity to expose some players to the Test environment and continue to build our game as we look ahead to two years' time.

"This autumn is a lot different to 12 months ago, where the focus was all about rankings.

"We have selected five uncapped players, there are a further six who made their debuts on the summer tour so it is a big opportunity to see all these players in this environment and I'm looking forward to seeing what they are able to do."

Gatland, though, offered encouragement to the likes of Roberts, Baldwin and Luke Charteris saying they shouldn't consider their Test careers were over.

"The important message for those players who have missed out: the door isn't closed."

Wales squad:

Forwards

Rob Evans, Wyn Jones, Nicky Smith, Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Samson Lee, Kristian Dacey, Elliot Dee, Ken Owens, Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Seb Davies, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Sam Cross, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Lydiate, Josh Navidi, Aaron Shingler, Justin Tipuric

Backs

Aled Davies, Gareth Davies, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar, Rhys Patchell, Rhys Priestland, Owen Williams, Jonathan Davies, Tyler Morgan, Hadleigh Parkes, Owen Watkin, Hallam Amos, Alex Cuthbert, Steffan Evans, Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams

Read more on:    wales  |  alun wyn jones  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

Following their failed bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, should SA Rugby consider bidding in future?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.