Dan Biggar left out of Wales squad for Autumn internationals due to knee injury
Dan Biggar has not been included in Wales’ 35-man Autumn Nations Series squad amid continued assessment on a knee injury.
Biggar went off during Northampton’s Gallagher Premiership victory over Wasps nine days ago, with Saints stating that his condition would be reviewed by a specialist ahead of an autumn schedule that Wales kick off against New Zealand on November 5.
It is unclear at this stage whether the talisman fly-half, who captained Wales against South Africa this summer, will be available for later autumn appointments with Argentina, Georgia or Australia, but it would appear unlikely.
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac’s group includes five uncapped players and a recall for full-back Leigh Halfpenny, who has not played Test rugby since he suffered a serious knee injury 15 months ago.
On the captaincy, Pivac said: “For us, it is about finalising the squad today and then we will look closely at who is going to lead the side.
“We have quite a few options with a lot of experience in the squad now. There is probably an opportunity for more than one captain in this series.”
Candidates would include former skipper Alun Wyn Jones, plus recalled and fit-again pair Ken Owens and Justin Tipuric.
The uncapped players selected by Pivac are Dragons wing Rio Dyer, Ospreys centre Joe Hawkins, Scarlets half-backs Sam Costelow and Dane Blacker, plus Scarlets flanker Josh MacLeod.
There is no place for British and Irish Lions scrum-half Gareth Davies, with Blacker joining Kieran Hardy and Tomos Williams as the number nines, or prop Rhys Carre.
Owens and Tipuric, who had been sidelined by long-term injuries, are joined on the recalled list by Cardiff fly-half Rhys Priestland and Ospreys prop Nicky Smith.
Biggar apart, players unavailable through injury also include full-back Liam Williams, prop Wyn Jones, in addition to back-row forwards Josh Navidi and Taine Basham.
Wales squad for Autumn Nations Series.
Backs: D Blacker (Scarlets), K Hardy (Scarlets), T Williams (Cardiff), G Anscombe (Ospreys), S Costelow (Scarlets), R Priestland (Cardiff), J Hawkins (Ospreys), G North (Ospreys), N Tompkins (Saracens), O Watkin (Ospreys), J Adams (Cardiff), A Cuthbert (Ospreys), R Dyer (Dragons), L Halfpenny (Scarlets), L Rees-Zammit (Gloucester).
Forwards: R Jones (Dragons), N Smith (Ospreys), G Thomas (Ospreys), R Elias (Scarlets), D Lake (Ospreys), K Owens (Scarlets), T Francis (Ospreys), D Lewis (Cardiff), S Wainwright (Saracens), A Beard (Ospreys), B Carter (Dragons), A W Jones (Ospreys), W Rowlands (Dragons), T Faletau (Cardiff), D Lydiate (Ospreys), J MacLeod (Scarlets), J Morgan (Ospreys), T Reffell (Leicester), J Tipuric (Ospreys), C Tshiunza (Exeter).
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