Jamie Roberts will captain Wales on their two-test summer tour, as head coach Robin McBryde names his 32-man squad for the campaign.
The squad features no fewer than 13 uncapped players, almost all of whom have come through the Wales U20 pathway. Eight of the newcomers are in the forwards: Adam Beard, Seb Davies, Ryan Elias, Ollie Griffiths, Wyn Jones, Rory Thornton and Thomas Young. In the backs, Aled Davies, Steff Evans, Keelan Giles, Owen Williams, Rhun Williams and Tomos Williams will all be aiming towards making their international debuts.
Wales take on Tonga on Friday 16th June at Eden Park (17:30 local time) as part of a thrilling double-header, followed by New Zealand versus Samoa. A week later, McBryde’s men face Samoa in Apia on Friday 23rd June (19:30).
“We’ve got a good mix of experience and youth in this squad,” says McBryde. “The senior players will be expected to display their leadership qualities, and we want the younger men to show they’ve got what it takes to handle the intense international environment.”
Roberts, capped 91 times by Wales, says leading his country in the southern hemisphere will be one of the proudest achievements of his illustrious career: “I’m immensely honoured to be named captain of Wales for this year’s summer tour. It’s a proud moment for myself, but more importantly my family and a position of responsibility that I will take huge pride in. I’m excited for the new players in the squad as they get the chance to test themselves at this level, and also for the more established players who now have a chance to become leaders in this team.”
Details regarding the broadcast of both Test matches will be announced soon.
Forwards: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Ollie Griffiths (Newport Gwent Dragons), Cory Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons), Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), James King (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Rory Thornton (Ospreys), Thomas Young (Wasps).
Backs: Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Aled Davies (Scarlets), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Sam Davies (Ospreys), Steff Evans (Scarlets), Keelan Giles (Ospreys), Tyler Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons), Jamie Roberts (captain, Harlequins), Owen Williams (Leicester Tigers), Rhun Williams (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues).
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