Anscombe returns for Wales
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Gareth Anscombe returned to the Wales squad for the first time in an injury-plagued two years as Wayne Pivac named a 38-man squad for the year-end internationals on Wednesday.
Ellis Jenkins also returns after injury troubles, while uncapped Exeter forward Christ Tshiunza has won his first call-up at just 19.
Ospreys flyhalf Anscombe has not played international rugby suffering a knee injury in August 2019, and it is almost three years since Cardiff flank Jenkins last featured.
The comeback theme is continued by Cardiff flyhalf Rhys Priestland, whose 50th and most recent Wales outing was against New Zealand in 2017.
Pivac is without a number of injured players, with the likes of Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Justin Tipuric and Josh Navidi all absent.
Wales’ year-end opener against New Zealand on October 30 falls outside World Rugby’s international window, meaning English Premiership-based players will not be released for that fixture, ruling out Tshiunza, Thomas Young, Louis Rees-Zammit, Nick Tompkins, Dan Biggar, Callum Sheedy and Taulupe Faletau.
Pivac’s men then face South Africa, Fiji and Australia in November.
“We understand that the opening game against the All Blacks is outside of the international window, but I believe that we all need this game after what has been a particularly difficult time for everyone because of the global pandemic,” said Pivac.
“It will be fantastic to play in front of a capacity crowd once again, with a number of these players getting to experience that for the first time.
“Injuries in certain positions, particularly at openside, have forced us to look a little bit deeper than we would normally, but what it does mean is that more players have an opportunity to be exposed to this level of rugby.”
Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (35 caps)
Rhodri Jones (Ospreys) (21 caps)
Rhys Carre (Cardiff Rugby) (13 caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (82 caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (40 caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (19 caps)
Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby) (31 caps)
WillGriff John (Scarlets) (Uncapped)
Tomas Francis (Ospreys) (57 caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (148 caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys) (25 caps)
Will Rowlands (Dragons) (10 caps)
Ben Carter (Dragons) (3 caps)
Seb Davies (Cardiff Rugby) (9 caps)
Christ Tshiunza* (Exeter Chiefs) (Uncapped)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (48 caps)
Thomas Young* (Wasps) (3 caps)
Taine Basham (Dragons) (3 caps)
Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Rugby) (11 caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) 31 caps)
Taulupe Faletau* (Bath Rugby) (86 caps)
Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby) (25 caps)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (62 caps)
Kieran Hardy (Scarlets) (7 caps)
Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys) (27 caps)
Rhys Priestland (Cardiff Rugby) (50 caps)
Dan Biggar* (Northampton Saints) (92 caps)
Callum Sheedy* (Bristol Bears) (12 caps)
Johnny Williams (Scarlets) (3 caps)
Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (91 caps)
Nick Tompkins* (Saracens) (13 caps)
Uilisi Halaholo (Cardiff Rugby) (7 caps)
Ben Thomas (Cardiff Rugby) (1 cap)
Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby) (32 caps)
Owen Lane (Cardiff Rugby) (4 caps)
Louis Rees-Zammit* (Gloucester Rugby) (9 caps)
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) (5 caps)
Liam Williams (Scarlets) (71 caps)
*Unavailable for selection for New Zealand
Wales’ year-end fixtures
Wales v New Zealand | Principality Stadium | Saturday 30th October 2021 | KO – 17:15
Wales v South Africa | Principality Stadium | Saturday 6th November 2021 | KO – 17:30
Wales v Fiji | Principality Stadium | Sunday 14th November 2021 | KO – 15:15
Wales v Australia | Principality Stadium | Saturday 20th November 2021 | KO – 17:30