Warren Gatland Calls Up English Tiger For Welsh Dragonhood

Warren Gatland Calls Up English Tiger For Welsh Dragonhood

Wales coach Warren Gatland has sprung a surprise by naming two uncapped players – one of them an Englishman – in his 37-man squad for the autumn Test series.

Ospreys wing and Wales Sevens’ all-time leading points and try scorer Luke Morgan and Leicester Tigers’ Jonah Holmes have both received a first call up to the Wales squad.
Morgan, who has scored four tries in five matches for his region this season, and back-three player Holmes, who scored 10 tries in 11 games for the Tigers last season, will link up with the squad when they meet next Monday.

Holmes, 26, was born in Stockport but qualifies for Wales through a Welsh grandparent.

But there is no place for Cardiff Blues wing Owen Lane, whose injury suffered against Lyon at the weekend now appears more serious than first thought and meant did not consider him for a first call up.

Lane, Seb Davies, Aaron Shingler, James Davies, Josh Navidi, Taulupe Faletau, Scott Williams, Hallam Amos were all not considered through injury and Dragons flanker Ollie Griffiths has missed out along with Wasps’ Tomos Young.

Wales welcome back eight British & Irish Lions to the squad which recorded three test victories against South Africa and Argentina in the summer.

Scarlets duo Rob Evans and Wyn Jones feature with Nicky Smith as the loose-head options for Wales with Ken Owens returning to the squad alongside Elliot Dee and Ryan Elias as the hookers. 

Leon Brown, who made his international debut last autumn, returns to the squad and is named along with Tomas Francis, Samson Lee and Dillon Lewis who all toured with Wales in the summer.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones returns as does Jake Ball who hasn’t featured for Wales since the 2017 Under Armour series due to injury. Adam Beard, Bradley Davies and Cory Hill are the other second-rows named.

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In the back-row co-captain from the summer tour Ellis Jenkins, debutant in Argentina Aaron Wainwright and Dragons number eight Ross Moriarty are joined by Lions duo Dan Lydiate and Justin Tipuric.

Aled Davies, Gareth Davies and Tomos Williams, who all featured in the USA and Argentina in June are named as the scrum-halves with Dan Biggar returning to the squad alongside Gareth Anscombe and Rhys Patchell as the fly-half options.

Lion Jonathan Davies returns from injury to feature alongside Tyler Morgan, Hadleigh Parkes and Owen Watkin.

The back-three options see the return of Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams alongside summer tourists Josh Adams, Steff Evans and George North as well as the uncapped duo of Morgan and Holmes.

“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 head coach 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.

“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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“Some experienced players have missed out, the message to them is the door isn’t closed looking long term, its just a reflection of where we are depth wise and the opportunity to look at other players.

“A further eight players haven’t been selected due to injury, dependent on their recovery they could be called in at a later date.

“The two uncapped players in Luke and Jonah are both form, back-three players and we are looking forward to seeing them in this environment and seeing what they can do.”

Wales will go into the Scotland match on the back of a five-Test unbeaten run, having defeated Italy, France, South Africa and Argentina (twice) since losing 37-27 to Six Nations opponents Ireland in February.

Rob Evans (Scarlets) (27 Caps)
Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (9 Caps)
Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (21 Caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (10 Caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (5 Caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (57 Caps)
Leon Brown (Dragons) (3 Caps)
Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (33 Caps)
Samson Lee (Scarlets) (38 Caps)
Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) (5 Caps)
Jake Ball (Scarlets) (28 Caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys) (4 Caps)
Bradley Davies (Ospreys) (64 Caps)
Cory Hill (Dragons) (18 Caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (117 Caps) (CAPTAIN)
Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues) (8 Caps)
Dan Lydiate (Ospreys) (62 Caps)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (23 Caps)
Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (57 Caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (1 Cap)

BACKS (17):
Aled Davies (Ospreys) (11 Caps)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (33 Caps)
Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues) (2 Caps)
Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues) (18 Caps)
Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints) (62 Caps)
Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) (10 Caps)
Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (65 Caps)
Tyler Morgan (Dragons) (4 Caps)
Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (8 Caps)
Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (6 Caps)
Josh Adams (Worcester Warriors) (4 Caps)
Steffan Evans (Scarlets) (10 Caps)
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (78 Caps)
Jonah Holmes (Leicester Tigers) (*UNCAPPED)
Luke Morgan (Ospreys) (*UNCAPPED)
George North (Ospreys) (76 Caps)
Liam Williams (Saracens) (48 Caps)

Players not selected due to injury:
Seb Davies, Aaron Shingler, James Davies, Josh Navidi, Taulupe Faletau, Scott Williams, Hallam Amos, Owen Lane.


Sat 3rd Nov 18      14:45 Test   Wales   v      Scotland      Principality Stadium

Sat 10th Nov 18    17:20 Test   Wales   v      Australia      Principality Stadium

Sat 17th Nov 18    14:30 Test   Wales   v      Tonga Principality Stadium

Sat 24th Nov 18    17:20 Test   Wales   v      South Africa Principality Stadium


Fri 1st Feb 19        21:00 6N-6N         France           v      Wales Stade de France   

Sat 9th Feb 19      17:45 6N-6N         Italy     v      Wales Stadio Olimpico    

Sat 23rd Feb 19    16:45 6N-6N         Wales   v      England       Principality Stadium

MARCH 2019

Sat 9th Mar 19      14:15 6N-6N         Scotland        v      Wales BT Murrayfield

Sat 16th Mar 19    14:45 6N-6N         Wales   v      Ireland        Principality Stadium




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