11 OSPREYS NAMED IN WALES' 35 MAN SQUAD
By Ospreys Rugby | 22/10/2013
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland has named a 35-man squad to contest the forthcoming Dove Men Series which includes 13 of this summer's British and Irish Lions, 3 uncapped players and 11 Ospreys.
Uncapped trio, Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Blues) and Eli Walker (Ospreys) feature in the squad alongside Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys) and Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), who return after injury.
The RBS 6 Nations Champions host southern hemisphere sides South Africa, Argentina, Tonga and Australia at the Millennium Stadium on consecutive weekends in November and it will be an opportunity for summer debutants Rhys Patchell, Owen Williams (both Blues) and hooker Emyr Phillips (Scarlets) to add to their International tally.
In the front-row Gethin Jenkins, Scott Andrews (both Blues), Ryan Bevington, Adam Jones, Richard Hibbard (all Ospreys), Paul James (Bath) and Ken Owens (Scarlets), who all featured in the Six Nations, are named alongside Jarvis and Phillips. Jarvis features for the first time since last November after injury and Phillips will be looking to add to his first two caps gained in Japan earlier in the year.
Ospreys and British and Irish Lions duo Alun Wyn Jones and Ian Evans are named alongside Bradley Davies (Blues) who led Wales to Japan in the summer, Dragons second-row Andrew Coombs and Charteris, who returns after injury to be named for the first time since last November.
Wales captain Sam Warburton (Blues) will lead the squad and is joined by a wealth of experience in the back-row alongside Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Toby Faletau (Dragons), Ryan Jones and Justin Tipuric (both Ospreys).
Mike Phillips (Bayonne) and Lloyd Williams (Blues) are named alongside former Wales Under 20 scrum-half Williams (Scarlets), who receives his first call-up to the Wales squad.
Priestland returns after missing the last two campaigns with injury and features with Ospreys' Dan Biggar, who played in all of Wales 2013 RBS 6 Nations encounters.
Perpignan's James Hook and Cardiff Blues fly-half Rhys Patchell, who made his international debut in Japan this summer, are named as two of the 16 backs in the squad.
Scarlets duo Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams are joined by Ashley Beck (Ospreys) and Blues pair Owen Williams and Allen. Williams started both tests for Wales this summer whilst his regional team-mate Allen, a former Wales Under 20 and Sevens player, features in the senior squad for the first time.
British and Irish Lions George North (Northampton Saints) and Leigh Halfpenny (Blues) feature along with Scarlets full-back Liam Williams and uncapped Ospreys wing Eli Walker.
Gatland returns to lead Wales after guiding the British and Irish Lions to their first series success in 16 years this summer and his side will face the Springboks in their first encounter on Saturday November 9th.
"We have an important campaign ahead as we look to test ourselves against some of the best sides in the world but also add strength in depth to our squad as we look to the future,” said Gatland.
"We face a huge game against South Africa first up and they will be coming to us after an impressive Rugby Championship campaign.
"Recent matches between us have been very close and physical and that will be a great test for us to kick-off.
"All four matches will be a stern test but we are looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to seeing what we can do on this stage.
"The Rugby World Cup is less than two years away, so we are looking to build as much depth in our squad as possible and to give vital international experience to our players.”
Exeter Chiefs prop Craig Mitchell, Saracens' Rhys Gill, Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues) and Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro) are unavailable due to injury.
WALES SQUAD 2013 DOVE MEN SERIES:
Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Andrew Coombs (Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Capt. - Cardiff Blues), Toby Faletau (Dragons), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro)
Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Patchell (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Jon Davies (Scarlets), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Owen Williams (Cardiff Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), George North (Northampton Saints), Eli Walker (Ospreys), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets).
The matches are:
09/11/2013 - SATURDAY - WALES v SOUTH AFRICA - 17:30
16/11/2013 - SATURDAY - WALES v ARGENTINA - 14:30
22/11/2013 - FRIDAY - WALES v TONGA - 19:30
30/11/2013 - SATURDAY - WALES v QANTAS WALLABIES - 17:00