Wales manager Warren Gatland has revealed his finalised 31-man squad ahead of next month’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The side had their final opportunity to impress the coach ahead of the tournament – losing out to Ireland by a score of 22-17 yesterday.
And while the match was technically a warm-up, there was quite a lot on the line in terms of securing a spot in Gatland’s final squad.
Joe Schmidt’s side were able to withstand some late pressure from the Welsh to get the job done and now, the stage is set for things to get really interesting once all gets underway in Japan.
Speaking on his selection, Gatland – who will leave his role as coach after the World Cup – explained the difficult process of whittling his panel down to 31 men.
“Selection is always the toughest part of the job and that is especially true come RWC time.
“Reducing the squad down to 31 has been extremely hard especially when you look at the depth we have created and the amount of work the training squad have put in.
“We are really happy with the final 31, we feel there is an excellent blend to the squad, in terms of talent, experience and age profile and we are all incredibly excited about heading to Japan and what lies ahead.
“These players have performed and delivered for Wales and deserve the opportunity to represent their nation at the game’s showpiece tournament.” (via BBC)
The squad can be read in full below:
Props: Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Rhys Carre (Saracens), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues).
Hookers: Ken Owens (Scarlets), Elliot Dee (Dragons), Ryan Elias (Scarlets).
Second-rows: Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, capt), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Cory Hill (Dragons), Jake Ball (Scarlets).
Back-rowers: Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Ross Moriarty (Dragons), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), James Davies (Scarlets).
Scrum-halves: Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues), Aled Davies (Ospreys).
Fly-halves: Dan Biggar (Northampton), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets).
Centres: Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Owen Watkin (Ospreys).
Back three: Liam Williams (Saracens), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets), George North (Ospreys), Hallam Amos (Cardiff Blues), Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues.