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Four uncapped players named in Wales call-up for Summer Tests

03 Jun 2024 4 minute read
Josh Hathaway, who has been selected in a 36-strong Wales training squad ahead of summer Test matches against South Africa and Australia. Photo credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Uncapped Gloucester back Josh Hathaway has been selected in a 36-strong Wales training squad ahead of summer Test matches against South Africa and Australia.

Aberystwyth-born Hathaway, who has represented Wales and England at Under-20 level, offers options at full-back and wing for head coach Warren Gatland.

The 20-year-old is joined by three other uncapped players – Cardiff backs Jacob Beetham and Ellis Bevan, plus Ospreys wing Keelan Giles.

“Bigger squad”

Liam Williams is recalled after missing this season’s Six Nations due to club commitments in Japan, and lock Cory Hill, who plays for Japanese fourth division club Secom Rugguts, has been named among five second-row forwards.

Wing Josh Adams, hooker Ryan Elias and lock Will Rowlands, meanwhile, are rested, but fly-half Ioan Lloyd and flanker Alex Mann are notable selection absentees.

The current group will be reduced to 34 players after the South Africa Test.

Wales’ clash against the world champion Springboks at Twickenham on June 22 is outside World Rugby’s international fixture window, which means Gatland will be without England-based players such as Hathaway, Nick Tompkins, Dafydd Jenkins, Christ Tshiunza and Tommy Reffell for that fixture.

The squad will then head Down Under for appointments with Australia in Sydney on July 6 and Melbourne seven days later, before tackling Queensland Reds on July 19.

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 (World Cup).

“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.

“It is 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 is attack or defence, and create some more depth and competition within the squad.”

Full squad

On 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 will probably be looking to name a captain for the South Africa game and then name a captain for the tour.”

Wales training squad – Backs: E Bevan (Cardiff), G Davies (Scarlets), K Hardy (Scarlets), S Costelow (Scarlets), M Grady (Cardiff), B Thomas (Cardiff), N Tompkins (Saracens), O Watkin (Ospreys), R Dyer (Dragons), K Giles (Ospreys), J Hathaway (Gloucester), L Williams (Kubota Spears), J Beetham (Cardiff), C Winnett (Cardiff).

Forwards: C Domachowski (Cardiff), K Mathias (Scarlets), G Thomas (Ospreys), E Dee (Dragons), D Lake (Ospreys), E Lloyd (Cardiff), S Parry (Ospreys), K Assiratti (Cardiff), A Griffin (Bath), D Lewis (Harlequins), H O’Connor (Scarlets), H Thomas (Castres), B Carter (Dragons), C Hill (Secom Nuggets), D Jenkins (Exeter), M Screech (Dragons), C Tshiunza (Exeter), M Martin (Cardiff), J Morgan (Ospreys), T Plumtree (Scarlets), T Reffell (Leicester), A Wainwright (Dragons).

Wales take on South Africa at Twickenham Stadium on 22 June ahead of test matches against the Wallabies and a fixture against the Queensland Reds in Australia on 26 June.

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