Wales drop Roberts for November Tests

Tue, 24 Oct 2017 10:57
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SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Harlequins utility back Jamie Roberts has been omitted from the 36-man Wales squad for their upcoming November Test Series.

Aside from 30-year-old Roberts, the other absentess are Luke Charteris, Scott Williams and Sam Davies.

Meanwhile,  Rhys Webb, who recently revealded he would joun Toulon, made the squad, despite being  ineliglible to play  for the 2019 World Cup.

Led by captain Alun Wyn JOnes the squad have five uncapped players, namely Dragons pair Leon Brown and Elliot Dee, Ospreys flank and Olympic silver medallist Sam Cross and centre duo Owen Watkin (Ospreys) and Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets).

With the two-year countdown and preparations for the World Cup fully underway, the squad features a further six players who made their international bow this summer in the victories over Tonga and Samoa (Wyn Jones, Seb Davies, Adam Beard, Aled Davies, Owen Williams and Steffan Evans).

Nine 2017 British & Irish Lions - Ken Owens, Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar, Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams - are named for the series which will see Wales take on Georgia, World Champions New Zealand and South Africa on successive Saturdays following the series opener against Australia.

Experienced prop quartet Rob Evans, Nicky Smith, Tomas Francis and Samson Lee feature alongside Brown and Jones.

Ken Owens and Kristian Dacey join Dee as the hooking options with Jake Ball and Cory Hill named as second row along with Beard, Davies and Jones.

Dan Lydiate, Josh Navidi and Aaron Shingler join Cross, Faletau and Tipuric as Wales' back-row options.
Gareth Davies, Webb and Aled Davies feature as the three scrum-halves.

Rhys Patchell and Rhys Priestland are also named along with Biggar and Williams. Tyler Morgan joins the centre options alongside Davies, Parkes and Watkin.

Hallam Amos and Alex Cuthbert will link up with Evans, Halfpenny and Williams as the back-three options.

"I'm really excited about this squad as we kick off the two year countdown to the 2019 RWC," said Wales Head Coach Warren 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.

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

Wales:

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, 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.