Six Nations 2015: Warren Gatland names 34-man Wales squad
Cardiff Blues outside-half Gareth Anscombe is one of four new faces in the squad as Lions duo Adam Jones and Matthew Rees miss out
Warren Gatland has named four uncapped players in his 34-man Six Nations squad as 28 return from the Dove Men Series.
As expected, the Wales head coach has called up Cardiff Blues outside-half Gareth Anscombe, despite the 23-year-old only arriving in the country from New Zealand in November.
The four uncapped players have been all been going well for their respective regions and it will be good to see them in this environment and we hope they take the opportunity.
There are also places for in-form Scarlets loosehead prop Rob Evans, Cardiff Blues hooker Kristian Dacey and 19-year-old Newport Gwent Dragons centre Tyler Morgan, who became the first uncapped player to sign a national dual contract.
Scarlets scrum-half Gareth Davies, who won his first cap in the defeat to South Africa last summer, and Cardiff Blues tighthead prop Scott Andrews are also recalled, but there is no room in the squad for British and Irish Lions duo Adam Jones and Matthew Rees.
“It’s great to be able to name such an experienced squad that also boasts some exciting young talent,” Gatland said.
“The four uncapped players have been all been going well for their respective regions and it will be good to see them in this environment and we hope they take the opportunity.
“They come into a squad packed with experience and that experience will be important to us over the next eight weeks and the year as a whole.
“We all know how tough the Six Nations is and we kick the tournament off with a huge game against England and that is something you have to be excited about and look forward to.
“We were pleased on the whole with the autumn campaign and this is another opportunity for us as we look ahead to a very big year in the rugby calendar.”
Anscombe’s selection comes at the expense of in-form Leicester Tigers outside-half Owen Williams, who recently signed a new deal with the Aviva Premiership club despite being in line for a natural dual contract and a return to the Scarlets.
Gloucester outside-half James Hook also misses out due to Anscombe’s inclusion, with Ospreys playmaker Dan Biggar expected to be first choice ahead of Bath Rugby-bound Rhys Priestland.
Wales Six Nations Squad:
Forwards (18): Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Paul James (Bath Rugby), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester Rugby), Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), James King (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, captain), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Taulupe Faetau (Newport Gwent Dragons).
Backs (16): Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Tyler Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons), Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton Saints), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon).