Wales name five new caps for defence of title
SIX NATIONS: WalesInjury-hit Wales named five uncapped players in a 35-man squad yesterday for the defence of their Six Nations title which gets underway next month.
Unable to call on locks Alun Wyn Jones, Luke Charteris and Bradley Davies through injury, interim coach Rob Howley called up James King and Andrew Coombs.
Backrowers Josh Navidi and Andries Pretorius were also selected, along with wing Eli Walker. Born in Nelspruit, South Africa, Cardiff Blues captain Pretorius qualifies on residency. Wales welcome back prop Adam Jones and fellow frontrower Craig Mitchell from injury. Jones missed all four of Wales’ November and December Tests because of a knee injury, as did fullback Lee Byrne who also returns.
With outhalf Rhys Priestland missing the Six Nations through injury after rupturing his Achilles’ tendon, Dan Biggar and James Hook will vie for the start at halfback in their opening match at home to Ireland on February 2nd.
Sam Warburton will captain the side.
Squad: Forwards: S Andrews, C Mitchell, A Jones, P James, G Jenkins, R Bevington, R Hibbard, K Owens, M Rees, R Jones, L Reed, I Evans, J King, A Coombs, J Turnbull, J Navidi, A Shingler, J Tipuric, S Warburton, T Faletau, A Pretorius. Backs: T Knoyle, M Phillips, L Williams, D Biggar, J Hook, J Davies, J Roberts, S Williams, A Cuthbert, G North, E Walker, L Halfpenny, L Williams, L Byrne.