Scrum half Aled Davies was the only uncapped player in an experienced 37-man squad named by Wales for the Six Nations tournament on 19 January. There were recalls for Cardiff Blues wing Tom James â€“ six years since he last played for his country â€“ and Josh Turnbull, who was last capped in 2014, in a squad led by captain Sam Warburton. Backs Liam Williams, Jonathan Davies and Hallam Amos return after injury.
If you look at the squad I think its a reflection of a lot of players that did well for us in the World Cup. We feel theres a nice balance between rewarding players for what theyve done for us in the past and picking a couple of players that weve been impressed with their club performances, said Wales head coach Warren Gatland at a news conference in Cardiff.
Gatland said the club were impressed by the 24-year-old Davies, who plays for the Scarlets and was included in the 2013 Wales autumn international training squad. Weve just been impressed with his form in the last couple of years, you know hes been close to the squad in the past so I think its a selection on form and the way that hes played, said Gatland.
Wales kick off their campaign away to champions Ireland on 7 February and although Gatland said his side have a lot of confidence, he acknowledged it will be a tough game. I think we are in a good place at the moment, weve got some players that have come back from injury, but I think 31 of that squad were involved in the World Cup so theres a lot of continuity and I think we go into this tournament with a lot of confidence and the self-belief that we can have a good tournament, said Gatland.
I mean the first up game against Ireland is obviously massive for us away from home and if we can get a victory there then it sets us up hopefully nicely for the home game against Scotland, he added.
Rob Evans (Scarlets), Paul James (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Racing 92), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Dominic Day (Bath Rugby), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), James King (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (CAPT) (Cardiff Blues).
Aled Davies (Scarlets), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues) Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Priestland (Bath Rugby), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Clermont Auvergne), Tyler Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Tom James (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton Saints), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Matthew Morgan (Bristol Rugby), Liam Williams (Scarlets).