Sport

Wales autumn international squad full of excitement

Image via Flickr

By Reece Chambers

Warren Gatland has named two uncapped players for Wales’ autmun international series.

Osprey winger Luke Morgan and Leicester Tigers’ Jonah Holmes have joined up with the 37-man Wales squad which includes the likes of Alun-Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate and Dan Biggar.

The Under Armour International series is the first time Wales will play under Gatland since Sam Warburton – one of the country’s most decorated captains – announced his retirement earlier this year.

The Welsh side includes a whole host of experienced names but also plenty of fresh faces as the national side continue their transition before Gatland steps down after the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Cardiff Blues players included in the squad consist of Gareth Anscombe, Tomos Williams, Dillon Lewis and Ellis Jenkins.

Warren Gatland’s squad consists of an array of experienced players amongst the ranks with eight British and Irish Lions in the squad.

Notable absentees include Hallam Amos, Josh Navidi, Scott Williams and Taulupe Faletau who all miss out on a place in the international side through injury.

Despite their absence, the squad still includes a whole host of talent with the likes of George North (76 caps), Leigh Halfpenny (78 caps) and Alun Wyn Jones (117 caps) providing a wealth of experience in the Welsh set-up.

The expertise and knowledge that the likes of Wyn-Jones will be able to pass onto the younger and inexperienced members of the squad will be key to success this autumn, and beyond, for Wales.

Wales start their autumn international series against Scotland on Saturday at the Principality Stadium before games against Australia, Tonga and South Africa.

In what will be an autumn series with a variety of tests for Gatland’s side, he believes that it will put them in good shape ahead of the World Cup next year.

“This autumn is the start of a 12-month countdown to the Rugby World Cup and it is a huge opportunity for the players,” said Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland.

“The players who performed and represented Wales so well in the summer deserve the opportunity again and we are really pleased with the depth we have built across the squad.”

As well as Gatland’s excitement at the strength in the depth in the squad, he will also be relying on his tried and trust experienced players to put key performances in.

“We have added in a lot of experience with eight British & Irish Lions coming into the squad so there is a lot of competition for places.”

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