Teenage wing Louis Rees-Zammit and Saracens centre Nick Tompkins have both been named in Wales’ Guinness Six Nations squad.
They are joined by three more uncapped players in Sale Sharks prop WillGriff John, Wasps lock Will Rowlands and Scarlets wing Johnny McNicholl, and there is also a recall for scrum-half Rhys Webb.
Webb last played Test rugby just over two years ago before joining French club Toulon and ruling himself out of Wales contention because he did not meet the minimum 60-cap selection criteria for players plying their trade outside the country.
Rees-Zammit, 18, has lit up English rugby this season with nine tries in as many matches for Gloucester while Saracens’ former England U20 cap Tompkins is eligible through a Welsh grandmother.
Tompkins, 24, represented England Saxons in 2016 and is an England Under-20 World Cup winner, but he qualifies for Wales through his Wrexham-born grandmother.
Despite Tompkins also playing for the England Saxons, he was not ‘captured’ by England because their opposition – South Africa A – were not South Africa’s officially recognised international second team at that time.
He will give coach Wayne Pivac an additional midfield option, with Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies sidelined for the entire Six Nations due to injury and Ospreys’ Owen Watkin recovering from a knee problem.
Rowlands, 28, is an Oxford University graduate who also spent time playing for Jersey Reds.
Watkin is named in the squad, along with Scarlets-bound Saracens back Liam Williams, who has not played since suffering an ankle injury during the World Cup.
We are really excited to be naming our Six Nations squad and kicking the campaign off,” said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.
“A lot of time and effort has gone into selecting the squad, all of the coaches have been out and about, seeing players in training, speaking with them and we are pretty excited with the group we have got.
“Looking back to the Barbarians week, that was hugely important for us. We got a lot of ‘firsts’ out of the way, getting to meet and get in front of the players and having a game together was hugely beneficial.
“We do have a couple of injuries but we flip that into seeing it as an opportunity for some new players to impress, with not only the Six Nations in mind but also longer term and 2023.
“The Six Nations is hugely exciting for me, it is something I grew up watching from afar and it has such history attached to it, I’m really looking forward to the campaign.”
Wales’ 2020 Six Nations Squad:
Rhys Carre (Saracens) (6 Caps)
Rob Evans (Scarlets) (36 Caps)
Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (22 Caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (29 Caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (9 Caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (73 Caps)
Leon Brown (Dragons) (6 Caps)
WillGriff John (Sale) (*uncapped)
Dillon Lewis (Blues) (22 Caps)
Jake Ball (Scarlets) (42 Caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys) (20 Caps)
Seb Davies (Blues) (7 Caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (134 Caps) (CAPTAIN)
Will Rowlands (Wasps) (*uncapped)
Cory Hill (Dragons) (24 Caps)
Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (26 Caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (18 Caps)
Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (72 Caps)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (41 Caps)
Josh Navidi (Blues) (23 Caps)
Justin Tipuric (Osprey) (72 Caps)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (51 Caps)
Rhys Webb (Toulon) (31 Caps)
Tomos Williams (Blues) (16 Caps)
Dan Biggar (Northampton) (79 Caps)
Owen Williams (Gloucester) (3 Caps)
Jarrod Evans (Blues) (3 Caps)
Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (25 Caps)
Nick Tompkins (Saracens) (*uncapped)
Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (22 Caps)
George North (Ospreys) (91 Caps)
Josh Adams (Blues) (21 Caps)
Owen Lane (Blues) (2 Caps)
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) (*uncapped)
Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester) (*uncapped)
Jonah Holmes (Leicester Tigers) (3 Caps)
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (85 Caps)
Liam Williams (Saracens) (62 Caps)