Jarvis, Roberts get Wales calls

2012-10-22 13:43

Cardiff - Ospreys prop Aaron Jarvis was the only uncapped player named in Wales' squad for the autumn internationals on Monday, while Cardiff Blues centre Jamie Roberts returned from injury.

Caretaker coach Rob Howley unveiled a 35-man squad for the Test matches against Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand, and Australia next month.

Howley, who is in charge while Warren Gatland prepares for next year's British and Irish Lions tour of Australia, called up six players who did not make the trip Down Under during the summer.

Rob McCusker and Tavis Knoyle of Scarlets both return alongside Roberts and Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar, but, as expected, there was no recall for Gavin Henson, who is bidding to rehabilitate his career with London Welsh.

Scarlets prop Rhodri Jones, Exeter Chiefs prop Craig Mitchell and Dragons back-row forward Dan Lydiate were all overlooked due to injury.

"We are really pleased with the strength and depth of the squad, with some pleasing individual performances over the last three or four weeks," said Howley.

"But we all understand and realise the skill, physicality and intensity will go up over the next five weeks.

"This is one of the reasons we are going back to our training camp in Poland to sharpen minds and bodies.

"Argentina are first up, and after the experience they have gained in the Rugby Championship, they will be a challenging and tough opponent, but this is a challenge we will look forward to.

"We know how important momentum is going into any series, and the bigger picture is the Rugby World Cup draw at the beginning of December, and how we perform against the Pumas, Samoa, the All Blacks, and the Wallabies will have a direct effect on our seeding in that draw.

"We need a successful November to back up our performances at the World Cup in New Zealand and the Six Nations Grand Slam earlier this year, and we are determined to achieve it."

After a week-long training camp in Spala, Poland, Howley's men will begin their autumn campaign against Argentina on November 10.

They tackle Samoa on November 16 and New Zealand on November 24, before signing off for the year against Australia on December 1.

All four matches will take place at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.

Wales squad for the autumn Test matches against Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand, and Australia:

Backs: Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Scarlets), Harry Robinson (Cardiff Blues), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), James Hook (Perpignan/FRA), Rhys Priestland, Tavis Knoyle (both Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne/FRA), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues)

Forwards: Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath/ENG), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Toulon/FRA), Adam Jones, Richard Hibbard (both Ospreys), Ken Owens, Matthew Rees (both Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Luke Charteris (Perpignan/FRA), Ian Evans, Alun Wyn Jones (both Ospreys), Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Rob McCusker, Aaron Shingler (both Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, captain)