Wales name squad for New Zealand tour

2016-05-10 12:44
Sam Warburton (Gallo Images)

London - Captain Sam Warburton was named in a 35-man Wales squad on Tuesday for their forthcoming match against England and subsequent tour of New Zealand, but Leigh Halfpenny was absent.

Flank Warburton has not played since injuring his shoulder playing for Cardiff Blues last month, while Toulon fullback Leigh Halfpenny has been out since damaging his knee against Italy last September.

The experienced squad will tackle England at Twickenham on May 29 before playing three Tests against world champions New Zealand, as well as a match against Hamilton side, the Chiefs, in June.

"We have picked a squad that is packed full of experience for what is going to be a challenging, but exciting five-match campaign," head coach Warren Gatland said in a Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) press release.

"We will be facing the Six Nations champions at Twickenham first up and that will be an important start to the tour and will set the tone for the weeks ahead.

"We will have a bit of time together when we land in New Zealand before the first Test, then it's into three Test matches against the All Blacks plus a mid-week match against the Chiefs."

As well as Halfpenny, Cardiff wing Alex Cuthbert and Ospreys flank Justin Tipuric also missed out due to injury.

But Scarlets centre Scott Williams and Ospreys lock Alun Wyn Jones both returned after spells on the sidelines.

Halfpenny, 27, had been scheduled to make his comeback in mid-April and was included in Toulon's squad for the European Champions Cup, but he is still to return to action.

At the weekend, Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal warned that Halfpenny would not be paid by the club if he went on tour with Wales.

Gatland has not called up any uncapped players, despite youngsters such as Ospreys back Sam Davies, Newport Gwent Dragons hooker Elliot Dee and Cardiff flank Ellis Jenkins being touted for inclusion.

"It is a great opportunity for us to test ourselves, build on the World Cup and the Six Nations and it's a challenge we are all looking forward to," Gatland added.

"We are in a great position in terms of the experience in the squad, especially when you look at the age of most of the players, and this is going to be another important summer."

Wales reached the quarter-finals at the World Cup, narrowly losing to South Africa, and finished second to England in the Six Nations.

Wales squad:

Backs (16)

Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Priestland (Bath/ENG), Jonathan Davies (Clermont/FRA), Tyler Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins/ENG), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), Matthew Morgan (Bristol/ENG), Tom James (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton/ENG), Eli Walker (Ospreys), Liam Williams (Scarlets)

Forwards (19)

Rob Evans (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter/ENG), Paul James (Ospreys) Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Kristian Dacey (Cardiff), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro/FRA), Bradley Davies (Wasps/ENG), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), James King (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester/ENG), Josh Turnbull (Cardiff), Sam Warburton (Cardiff, captain)

Read more on:    wales  |  sam warburton  |  rugby

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