Wales coach Warren Gatland has named Rhys Patchell and the injured Cory Hill in his 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup, but Rob Evans and Samson Lee have missed out.
Doubt over Hill’s place in the squad intensified on Saturday, when Gatland said it was “up for debate” whether the 24-cap lock, who has missed all the warm-up games with a leg fracture, would be chosen.
Hill, however, will go to Japan, with the 27-year-old selected despite being likely to miss the opening games of Wales’ campaign.
Joining Hill is Patchell, despite Jarrod Evans starting at number 10 in Wales’ defeat to Ireland on Saturday.
Scarlets front-rowers Evans and Lee – who had looked to be potential starters for the tournament – are surprise omissions, with Rhys Carre coming into a group of five props.
Owen Watkin makes the cut instead of Scott Williams, while Hallam Amos will travel at the expense of Owen Lane.
“Selection is always the toughest part of the job and that is especially true come Rugby World Cup time,” said Gatland, who will leave his post after the tournament.
“Reducing the squad down to 31 has been extremely hard especially when you look at the depth we have created and the amount of the work the training squad have put in, for some, 14 weeks of training.
“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.”
Wales face Ireland again in Dublin in their final warm-up match on Saturday, before their Rugby World Cup campaign begins with a clash against Georgia on September 23.
From the club to the global stage, the honour of making Wales’ @rugbyworldcup squad announcement falls to the players’ community clubs Braint rhoi’r llwyfan i’n clybiau cymunedol, a enwebwyd gan y chwaraewyr eu hun. #HWFN pic.twitter.com/YHZKdDXGb3
— Welsh Rugby Union (@WelshRugbyUnion) September 1, 2019
Wales Rugby World Cup squad in full:
Forwards: Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Rhys Carre, James Davies, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones, Wyn Jones, Dillon Lewis, Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Ken Owens, Aaron Shingler, Nicky Smith, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright.
Backs: Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Dan Biggar, Aled Davies, Gareth Davies, Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Hadleigh Parkes, Rhys Patchell, Owen Watkin, Liam Williams, Tomos Williams.
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