VIDEO: Gatland reveals his World Cup hand
SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT: Wales have named a 42-man training squad to prepare for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
The squad includes 18 players with RWC experience and two uncapped players in prop Rhys Carre and wing Owen Lane.
Thirty-six of Wales’ 2019 Grand Slam squad are named in the training squad which is made up of 23 forwards and 19 backs.
The players will link up with Wales on a rolling start, after each has received four weeks off following their final club/regional game.
Preparations will begin at the state-of-the-art WRU National Centre of Excellence with the whole squad expected in camp by the middle to end of June.
The rigorous schedule will prepare the squad for their first overseas training camp in the Swiss Alps. As per 2015, the squad will head to Fiesch in Switzerland for an intensive fortnight. They will ‘live high’ and ‘train low’ in the resort then return to Cardiff for more preparation ahead of back-to-back fixtures against England at Twickenham (August 11) and Principality Stadium respectively (August 17).
The morning after their second clash with England the squad will head to the heat of Turkey for warm-weather training in the purpose built Gloria Sports Arena before flying home for their final two preparation matches. Wales will face Ireland in Cardiff on August 31st and announce their 31-man RWC squad the following week. They then face the return fixture in Dublin on September 7.
Uncapped Carre joins fellow props Leon Brown, Rob Evans, Tomas Francis, Wyn Jones, Samson Lee, Dillon Lewis and Nicky Smith.
Ken Owens, who featured for Wales at the 2011 and 2015 RWCs is named alongside Elliot Dee and Ryan Elias.
Alun Wyn Jones, who has appeared in three of the game’s showpiece tournaments (’07, ’11, ’15) features alongside Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Bradley Davies and Cory Hill.
Taulupe Faletau, who also played in the 2011 and 2015 tournaments returns to the squad from injury alongside James Davies. Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Aaron Shingler and Justin Tipuric complete the back-row contingent.
Wales have named the same 18 backs that made up the 2019 Guinness Six Nations squad with the addition of Lane.
Aled Davies, Gareth Davies and Tomos Williams feature as the scrum-halves with Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Jarrod Evans and Rhys Patchell the four fly-halves named.
Wales have named four centres in Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Owen Watkin and Scott Williams (who has featured in two World Cups for Wales).
Lane, who played for Wales U20 with Carre, is one of eight back-three players included alongside Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Steff Evans, Leigh Halfpenny, George North (who played in both the 2011 and 2015 tournaments), Jonah Holmes and Liam Williams.
“It is exciting to name our training squad and to get the RWC ball rolling,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.
“We’ve named a 42-man squad, packed with experience, a good number of the Grand Slam winning squad are in there plus some players who have returned from injury.
“The last couple of years have been about building depth and exposing players and we have done that well so we have kept the numbers down to make the squad as manageable as possible.
“We have created some great competition in the squad and there are a couple of players on the injury list at the moment that we could add into the squad at a later date depending on their recovery.
“We have been really impressed with Rhys (Carre) and with Owen (Lane). They have both been on our succession plan for a while and it will be good to have them in camp with us and to see what they are able to do.
“We are looking forward to the squad meeting up and a hard summer of work ahead of us. We have planned it meticulously and the plans have been in place for a good while now. Looking back to 2011 and 2015 we were happy with our preparation so we are hoping to take that into this year and hopefully build on it.”
Leon Brown, Rhys Carre, Rob Evans, Tomas Francis, Wyn Jones, Samson Lee, Dillon Lewis, Nicky Smith, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Ken Owens, Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Bradley Davies, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones, James Davies, Taulupe Faletau, Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Aaron Shingler, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright
Aled Davies, Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Jarrod Evans, Rhys Patchell, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Owen Watkin, Scott Williams, Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Steff Evans, Leigh Halfpenny, Owen Lane, George North, Jonah Holmes, Liam Williams
🏴 Here is Wales’ 42-man training squad for the 2019 @rugbyworldcup, which includes two uncapped players in prop Rhys Carre and wing Owen Lane 🔴 Mae’r pâr o Gaerdydd wedi cynrychioli @cardiff_blues, Cymru D20 a D18 gyda’i gilydd. #HWFN pic.twitter.com/Om9fUxVAPP
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) April 30, 2019