Uncapped quartet in Wales squad for Australia

Uncapped quartet in Wales squad for Australia

Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley included four uncapped players in a 38-man training squad announced Monday for next month's match against the Barbarians and the subsequent three-Test tour of Australia.

Scarlets full-back Liam Williams, his team-mate prop Rhodri Jones, Ospreys centre Ashley Beck and Cardiff Blues wing Harry Robinson are the four players involved yet to experience full international rugby union.

Scarlets fullback Liam Williams.

Scarlets fullback Liam Williams.

Photo: Getty Images

The squad will assemble on May 21 with the exception of the Ospreys contingent preparing for the Celtic League final against Irish province Leinster five days later.

Several internationals who didn't feature in Six Nations champions Wales' Grand Slam winning campaign have also been selected including veteran flanker Martyn Williams.

He is now set to win his 100th cap against the invitational Barbarians in Cardiff on June 2 -- a match Wales, unlike many countries, have accorded full Test status.


France-based Mike Phillips and James Hook will be with the squad from the start of its preparations, while captain Sam Warburton remains on course to recover in time from a shoulder injury.

Clermont Auvergne full-back Lee Byrne has not been selected as he is likely to be involved in domestic competition in France up to the date the tour party leaves, but he will remain on stand-by.

Former Wales scrum-half Howley is taking charge of the squad on a temporary basis while head coach Warren Gatland recovers from injuries sustained while falling off a ladder in his native New Zealand.

Wales, beaten by the Wallabies in the bronze play-off match at last year's World Cup, have won just one of their last 16 matches against the Tri Nations, who as well as Australia include world champions New Zealand and South Africa.

Howley is keen to see an improvement and has insisted the Barbarians match will act as a trial game for some of his squad.

"We hope to get the summer off to a winning start against the Baa-Baas, and everyone who figures in that game will be playing for a place on the tour," Howley said.

"We have a tough series ahead of us with five matches in four weeks, but we are fully focused on the prize of that elusive southern hemisphere scalp."

Centre Jamie Roberts and hooker Huw Bennett missed out because of injury while, as expected, there was no place for sacked former Cardiff midfielder Gavin Henson.


Backs: Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Andrew Bishop (Ospreys), Aled Brew (Newport Gwent Dragons), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Will Harries (Newport Gwent Dragons), James Hook (Perpignan/FRA), George North (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne/FRA), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Harry Robinson (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Liam Williams (Scarlets)

Forwards: Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Newport Gwent Dragons), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), Rhys Gill (Saracens/ENG), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Paul James (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Alun-Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues)


Jun 02: Wales v Barbarians, Cardiff

Jun 09: Australia v Wales, 1st Test, Brisbane

Jun 12: ACT Brumbies v Wales, Canberra

Jun 16: Australia v Wales, 2nd Test, Melbourne

Jun 23: Australia v Wales, 3rd Test, Sydney


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