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Gatland names two uncapped backs in Wales squad for Autumn Internationals

Luke Morgan and Jonah Holmes included in 37-man squad.

New faces: Morgan, left, and Holmes.
New faces: Morgan, left, and Holmes.

WARREN GATLAND HAS named uncapped backs Luke Morgan and Jonah Holmes in a 37-man squad for Wales’ four Test matches in November.

Ospreys winger Morgan — who is Wales Sevens’ all-time leading points and try scorer — has scored four tries in five matches for his region this season, while Leicester’s English-born Holmes, who qualifies for Wales through a grandparent, scored 10 tries in 11 games for the Tigers last season.

Gatland has the luxury of welcoming back eight British and Irish Lions to the squad which recorded three Test victories against South Africa and Argentina in the summer.

There was no place for Rhys Webb, the scrum-half who signed for Toulon this season.

In his absence, Aled Davies, Gareth Davies and Tomos Williams, who all featured in the USA and Argentina in June, are named, alongside Dan Biggar, Gareth Anscombe and Rhys Patchell as the out-half options.

“This autumn is the start of a 12-month countdown to the Rugby World Cup and it is a huge opportunity for the players,” said Gatland.

“The players who performed and represented Wales so well in the summer deserve the opportunity again and we are really pleased with the depth we have built across the squad.

“We have added in a lot of experience with eight British and Irish Lions coming into the squad so there is a lot of competition for places.

“Some experienced players have missed out. The message to them is the door isn’t closed looking long term, it’s just a reflection of where we are depth wise and the opportunity to look at other players.

“A further eight players haven’t been selected due to injury, dependent on their recovery they could be called in at a later date.”

Wales squad

Forwards (20): Rob Evans, Wyn Jones, Nicky Smith, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Ken Owens, Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Samson Lee, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Bradley Davies, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Ellis Jenkins, Dan Lydiate, Ross Moriarty, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright

Backs (17): Aled Davies, Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Rhys Patchell, Jonathan Davies, Tyler Morgan, Hadleigh Parkes, Owen Watkin, Josh Adams, Steffan Evans, Leigh Halfpenny, Jonah Holmes, Luke Morgan, George North, Liam Williams

Players not selected due to injury: Seb Davies, Aaron Shingler, James Davies, Josh Navidi, Taulupe Faletau, Scott Williams, Hallam Amos, Owen Lane

© – AFP 2018

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