Wales Squad for Autumn Internationals


Wales boss Warren Gatland has named three uncapped players in a 35-man squad for next month’s Tests against South Africa, Argentina, Tonga and Australia. Ospreys wing Eli Walker, Cardiff Blues centre Cory Allen and Scarlets scrum-half Rhodri Williams have all been selected.

But there are no places for injured British and Irish Lions backs Jamie Roberts and Alex Cuthbert or Blues captain Matthew Rees. Racing Metro centre Roberts is recovering from an ankle injury, while Blues wing Cuthbert suffered an ankle problem during last weekend’s Heineken Cup victory over European champions Toulon.

The Blues have today announced Rees will be out of the game for an enforced period after undergoing testicular surgery.

Perpignan back James Hook, who last started for Wales against another Test-playing country two years ago, has made the squad, which is based largely on last season’s RBS 6 Nations title-winning group.

There is also a place for scrum-half Mike Phillips, who faced a meeting with Bayonne directors on Tuesday after he allegedly attended a players’ video analysis session at the French club earlier this month while under the influence of alcohol.

Phillips, who has won 77 caps, could find himself facing a club suspension and be hit with a substantial fine. Luke Charteris, Aaron Jarvis and Rhys Priestland return after injury.

Gatland said: “We have an important campaign ahead as we look to test ourselves against some of the best sides in the world but also add strength in depth to our squad as we look to the future,” said Gatland.

“We face a huge game against South Africa first up and they will be coming to us after an impressive Rugby Championship campaign.

“Recent matches between us have been very close and physical and that will be a great test for us to kick-off.
“All four matches will be a stern test but we are looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to seeing what we can do on this stage.

“The Rugby World Cup is less than two years away, so we are looking to build as much depth in our squad as possible and to give vital international experience to our players.”


Forwards: Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Andrew Coombs (Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (CAPT – Cardiff Blues), Toby Faletau (Dragons), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro)

Backs: Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Patchell (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Jon Davies (Scarlets), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Owen Williams (Cardiff Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), George North (Northampton Saints), Eli Walker (Ospreys), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

What do you make of the Wales squad?

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

12 thoughts on “Wales Squad for Autumn Internationals

  1. I guess the hopes for the AI’s ride on whether the Ospreys forwards play like they do for the Ospreys or whether they play like they do for Wales!

  2. Nice photo of Gats! Was it captured after reading his twitter feed when BOD was dropped I wonder?

    It looks a great squad, thought Samson Lee would have made it with an eye on 2015.

  3. cant fathom Scott Andrews over Samson Lee, i’m surprised James Hook made it although its obviously not as a fly half considering Biggar, Priestland and Patchell are in there. I hope Scott Williams & Cory Allen can make an impact and keep Jamie Roberts on the sidelines, injured or not. far more exciting players to watch! I’m hope Liam Williams gets Cuthberts wing spot.

    team V SA

    A Jones, Hibbard, Jenkins
    AW Jones, Charteris
    Lydiate,Faletau, Warburton
    Phillips , Priestland
    S Williams, Davies,
    L Williams, Halfpenny, G North

    Jarvis, Owens, James, Coombs, Tipuric, L Williams, Biggar, Allen

      1. Dream on! Probably shouldve said this is my guess at gatlands team, and I can’t see them beating SA if they are anywhere as worked up as they were for NZ game. 8pts at least

        I’d have Hook at ten or twelve, and lloyd williams at nine but it aint going to happen unfortunately. Still wouldn’t win but at least the backs would get some quick ball now and again…

  4. Possibly a mis quote but on the bbc Gatland quoted as saying he is building for the 6n and that tournament is more important than winning in the autumn.

    Seriously? With a world cup only 2 years away in which you will have to beat one of the big 3 sh sides to win it I find these comments astonishing. Surely the aim should be to win both? But if you were to prioritise surely Wales need to improve form and confidence in the AIs rather than 6n. Pains me though it does to say this but they proved themselves consistently as Europe’s best.

    1. Yeah, I don’t understand it either. Perhaps he means that with the next 6Ns being about 18months out from the RWC he sees that as the start of the buildup i.e. to be in good shape for RWC 2015 he wants to win next two 6Ns and next years AIs and hence this is his last chance to develop talent?

      1. It’s a master stroke in expectation management, what he is really saying is “Don’t worry if we get turned over by Tonga, we are building for the 6N”

          1. That Friday night game is rapidly turning into our annual night of shame. They need to stop using it to try out new players – put out a full strength side and let’s see if we can wallop someone for a change.

            1. This is the Wales team that lost to Samoa

              Wales: L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues); A Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), A Beck (Ospreys), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), G North (Scarlets); D Biggar (Ospreys), M Phillips (Bayonne); P James (Bath), R Hibbard (Ospreys), A Jarvis (Ospreys), B Davies (Cardiff Blues), I Evans (Ospreys), R Jones (capt), J Tipuric (Ospreys), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

              Replacements: R Priestland (Scarlets) for Biggar (38), G Jenkins (Toulon) for James (61), K Owens (Scarlets) for Hibbard (18), S Andrews (Blues) for Jarvis (78), L Charteris (Perpignan) for Evans (41), S Warburton (Blues) for R Jones (71).

              9 2013 B+I lions starting and another 2 on the bench isn’t really a development side.

              Samoa deserve full credit for their victory, this is nothing like the side that lost to Japan!

              1. Yes, Samoa was the exception. Gats rightly decided to stop all of this mucking around with dev sides for Fri night games and went for a full side. It wasn’t like previous years e.g. Fiji, Tonga, etc.

                Samoa are a v. good side. I’ve said on this blog before that I expect them to beat many more top sides than Wales over the next few years if they’re just given the chance to play them.

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