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Gatland reveals his hand as Bok Test draws nearer

SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Wales head coach Warren Gatland has named a 36-player training squad for the 2024 Test season.

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Wales face South Africa in an away fixture at Twickenham Stadium on June 22 before heading for Australia on June 26 to play two Test matches against the Wallabies and a fixture against the Queensland Reds.

An updated squad of 34 players who will travel to Australia will be confirmed following the Springboks encounter.

Four uncapped players are selected among the 22 forwards and 15 backs named today: Cardiff’s Ellis Bevan (scrumhalf) and Jacob Beetham (fullback), as well as wings Keelan Giles (Ospreys) and Josh Hathaway (Gloucester).

Ben Carter, Dewi Lake, Jac Morgan, Taine Plumtree and Christ Tshiunza return for Wales having missed the Six Nations due to injury.

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There are also recalls for hooker Sam Parry, tighthead prop Henry Thomas, second rows Cory Hill and Matthew Screech and back three Liam Williams, in a Wales squad that has an average age of 25.

A decision has been taken to give Josh Adams, Ryan Elias and Will Rowlands a break, so they have not been selected in the squad.

Gatland said: “We’ve selected a bigger squad because we don’t have the English club-based players available for the South Africa match. So we will be reducing the squad from 36 to 34 players for Australia.

“I think everyone appreciates and realises we’re building towards 2027. There were moments during the Six Nations where we played some really good rugby and put the opposition teams under some pressure, but we probably weren’t accurate enough.

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“It’s about playing for longer periods, putting halves together and putting an 80-minute performance together which ultimately gives you confidence and gives you that opportunity to win games.

“We need to build on that. We need to keep working hard. We’ve got some experience to come back into the squad and some exciting players which is good.

“The big focus for us is about our game management and to get better with that. But we also want to improve our collision dominance whether that’s attack or defence and create some more depth and competition within the squad.”

Regarding the captaincy, Gatland added: “When the squad comes in we will look at a leadership group that is going to be important for us going forward.

“Then we’ll probably be looking to name a captain for the South Africa game and then name a captain for the tour.”

 

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Wales squad:

Forwards:

Corey Domachowski, Kemsley Mathias, Gareth Thomas, Elliot Dee, Dewi Lake, Evan Lloyd, Sam Parry, Keiron Assiratti, Archie Griffin, Dillon Lewis, Harri O’Connor, Henry Thomas, Ben Carter, Cory Hill, Dafydd Jenkins, Matthew Screech, Christ Tshiunza, Mackenzie Martin, Jac Morgan, Taine Plumtree, Tommy Reffell, Aaron Wainwright.

Backs:

Ellis Bevan, Gareth Davies, Kieran Hardy, Sam Costelow, Mason Grady, Ben Thomas, Nick Tompkins, Owen Watkin, Rio Dyer, Keelan Giles, Josh Hathaway, Liam Williams, Jacob Beetham, Cameron Winnett

 

 

 

 

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