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Depleted Wales 'look to the future'

Sat, 31 May 2014 04:55
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We will not be distracted from the task
Quote-end

Welsh coach Warren Gatland has promised that his team will use their upcoming three-match tour of South Africa to "build" towards next year's World Cup.

Alun Wyn Jones will captain the 32-man squad that will depart for South Africa next Thursday (June 5) and will begin the tour with a fixture against Eastern Province Kings in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, June 10.

The first Test against the Springboks takes place in Durban on Saturday June 14, with the second a week later in Nelspruit on Saturday June 21.

The announcement was made following a trial match at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea on Friday, which the Probables won 55-7.

Matthew Morgan is the shock inclusion. The No.10, who is leaving the Ospreys in the off-season to join Bristol, has been named after a fine cameo in the trial.

He is one of four uncapped players in the squad.

The others are Scarlets players Gareth Davies, Steve Shingler and Jordan Williams.

The latter did his chances no harm with a try double for the Probables in the trial.

The versatile Hook can cover flyhalf, centre or fullback, with Liam Williams the only specialist No. 15 in the tour party.

There is also a place for Scarlets tighthead prop Samson Lee, who left the field injured on Friday.

"For us the success of the national team is all about pride and determination, but we are keenly aware of how a winning Wales team can help deliver financial strength to Welsh rugby as well," Gatland said.

"There is a lot of hard work ahead for team Wales, but our supporters can be certain we will not be distracted from the task.

"Right now the national squad is setting off on a journey which will lead us into World Cup 2015 and there is a lot to look forward to."

Wales squad:

Forwards: Gethin Jenkins, Paul James, Adam Jones, Rhodri Jones, Samson Lee, Aaron Jarvis, Ken Owens, Matthew Rees, Scott Baldwin, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Luke Charteris, Jake Ball, Ian Evans, Aaron Shingler,
Josh Turnbull, Dan Lydiate, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Baker.

Backs: Mike Phillips, Gareth Davies, Rhodri Williams, Dan Biggar, James Hook, Steven Shingler, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Cory Allen, Alex Cuthbert, George North, Jordan Williams, Matthew Morgan, Liam Williams.

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