Wales have named uncapped pair James Davies and Josh Adams in their squad for the Six Nations.Flanker Davies, 27, has been rewarded for his excellent form with Scarlets, while Worcester wing Adams is the top try scorer in the English Premiership.Bath number eight Taulupe Faletau is included despite being ruled out of the first two rounds of the Six Nations with a knee injury.
Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts and Bath lock Luke Charteris are left out.The 39-man squad is larger than usual, partly because of fitness concerns over a handful of players.Northampton wing George North is included after picking up ia knee injury, although he is expected to be fit to return to action this weekend.Bath fly-half Rhys Priestland injured his hamstring last Friday and Dragons back Hallam Amos suffered an ankle injury in the Christmas derby match against Cardiff Blues.
Gloucester back-rower Ross Moriarty, who deputised for Faletau during last year’s Six Nations, returns to the squad having missed the bulk of this season with a back injury.His is a timely return because flankers Sam Warburton and Dan Lydiate are out for the season, as is centre Jonathan Davies, the brother of the uncapped James.”It is an exciting opportunity for the two new caps,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.”James’ form over the last couple of years has been impressive, he’s in a competitive area but we look forward to seeing what he can do. “For Josh it’s a great opportunity, he’s been on great form and the back-three is somewhere we are looking to create depth in.
“We have selected a larger squad and it is an opportunity for us to work with a wider group and continue building for the next 18 months. “We have included a couple of players who are carrying injuries. With Taulupe we are hoping he will be available towards the end of the campaign and Rhys [Priestland] picked up a knock at the weekend so we will see where he is at. “It’s useful to have these experienced guys around camp and to have them included and to work with them.”Still in our thoughtsGatland insisted it was not the end for Roberts and Charteris.”For those players like Jamie and Luke there is still an opportunity for them,” said Gatland.”We picked some youngsters in the autumn and it was a chance to work with them again.”The message to Jamie and Luke is you are not out of the picture and are still part of our plans.”Bradley Davies has come back into the squad with the injury to Jake Ball. “His form has improved and we will see how he goes in the squad but Luke is very much part of our thinking process.”Gatland also hopes Faletau can return to his form and fitness later in the tournament as he looks to Moriarty, Josh Navidi or Ellis Jenkins to fill the number eight jersey against Scotland on 3 February.”We have spoken about the lack of depth at No.8,” said Gatland.”Taulupe is potentially going to be fit towards the back end of the tournament which is positive.”He had a fantastic Lions series and from his high standards, he was disappointed with how he went in the autumn.”Wales squad for the 2018 Six NationsForwards: Rob Evans (Scarlets), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Elliot Dee (Dragons), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Ospreys), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues), Cory Hill (Dragons), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, capt), James Davies (Scarlets), Taulupe Faletau (Bath), Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys).Backs: Aled Davies (Scarlets), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Bath), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Owen Williams (Gloucester), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Josh Adams (Worcester Warriors), Hallam Amos (Dragons), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Steff Evans (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets), George North (Northampton Saints), Liam Williams (Saracens).
Source: Worcester News