Rugby World Cup 2015: Wales name 47-man training squad
Warren Gatland includes nine uncapped players for gruelling schedule with all 12 dual contracted player also named
Warren Gatland has named nine uncapped players in his 47-man Wales training squad for the Rugby World Cup.
The New Zealander has named 17 players with Rugby World Cup experience, with all 12 dual contracted players included, but he has also continued his willingness to integrate rising stars into the mix for a typically rigorous examination before the tournament starts in September.
Gloucester Rugby back-row forward Ross Moriarty – a former England age-grade player, whose father and uncle played for Wales – gets a chance to show what he can do after a great season, as does Exeter Chiefs tighthead prop Tomas Francis, who trained with the squad during the RBS 6 Nations.
We believe the longer we are together the better we perform and this summer of preparation will give us every opportunity to be at our best come Rugby World Cup.
Another surprise name to make the squad is Bath Rugby lock Dominic Day, who played in the Aviva Premiership final on Saturday.
The former Scarlets man represented Wales 10 times at U19 level in 2004 and 15 times at U21 level in 2005 and 2006, but has not been on the international radar since.
The rest of the uncapped players come from inside Wales with Ospreys youngster Rory Thornton included despite captaining Wales at the World Rugby U20 Championship this month.
Cardiff Blues hooker Kristian Dacey and outside-half/full-back Gareth Anscombe return to the squad after their inclusion for the Six Nations, with both still looking to make their debuts, as does Ospreys wing Eli Walker and talented Newport Gwent Dragons centre Tyler Morgan, with Dragons centre Jack Dixon also named.
“As a coaching team we are extremely happy with the blend of the squad in terms of the experience we are able to include as well as the young talent that has really impressed us,” Gatland said.
“The easy part for the players has been done in terms of being selected, the hard work will begin from day one with a huge schedule of preparation ahead of them.
“The players will face a tough couple of months of intensive training, we will be taking them to Switzerland, Qatar and Poland and I can assure everyone they are no holiday camps.
“We put a lot of emphasis on conditioning and preparation in 2011 which worked well for us and we are looking to step that up again this time.
“The 47 players all have the opportunity to make that 31-man party and I’m sure they will all be eager to feature in a World Cup on these shores.
“We believe the longer we are together the better we perform and this summer of preparation will give us every opportunity to be at our best come Rugby World Cup.”
Thank you all for your kind messages really proud to be named in the @WelshRugbyUnion squad looking forward to the hard work to come
— Ross Moriarty (@RossMoriarty6) June 1, 2015
There is also a return to the squad for Cardiff Blues centurion wing Tom James, who won the last of his 10 senior caps in 2010, while outside-half/full-back Matthew Morgan is also included after a superb season with Bristol that saw him named Greene King IPA Championship player of the season.
With plenty of competition for places for each position, Gatland and his assistants face some tough decisions ahead of the final 31-man squad being named in August.
Wales end their preparation with warm-up matches against Ireland at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday 8 August before a trip to Dublin to take on the same opposition three weeks later.
With the squad narrowed down to the final selection, Wales then take on Italy in Cardiff on Saturday 5 September before their World Cup opener against Uruguay.
Wales Training Squad (47):
Forwards (25): Rob Evans (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Paul James (Bath Rugby), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester Rugby), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Dominic Day (Bath Rugby), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Rory Thornton (Ospreys), Dan Baker (Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), James King (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, captain).
Backs (22): Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), James Hook (Gloucester Rugby), Matthew Morgan (Bristol Rugby), Rhys Patchell (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Jack Dixon (Newport Gwent Dragons), Tyler Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Tom James (Exeter Chiefs), George North (Northampton Saints), Eli Walker (Ospreys), Liam Williams (Scarlets).