Davies to captain Wales as Pivac names summer squad

Jonathan Davies 27/2/2021
Jonathan Davies has been named Wales captain for the summer internationals, while there are five uncapped players in Wayne Pivac’s 34-man squad.

Jonathan Davies has been named Wales captain for the summer internationals, while there are five uncapped players in Wayne Pivac’s 34-man squad.

Davies stands in for Alun Wyn Jones, who will captain the British & Irish Lions in South Africa, as the Guinness Six Nations champions prepare to host Canada and Argentina in Cardiff.

Ospreys prop Gareth Thomas, Dragons pair Ben Carter and Taine Basham, Cardiff Blues centre Ben Thomas and Scarlets wing Tom Rogers will all be hoping for their international debus, as Pivac casts an eye to the future with so many established players unavailable.

Ten Wales players will be with the Lions this summer and Pivac has used this as an opportunity to build squad depth.

Dragons scrum-half Rhodri Williams has earned his first international call-up in seven years, while his fellow No.9 Rhys Webb and centre Owen Watkin are surprise omissions.

Flanker Josh Turnbull is also back in the fold and could win his first cap in three years, while veteran full-back Leigh Halfpenny could make his 100th Test appearance.

Wales host Canada on July 3 and then Argentina on the following two Saturdays, as 10,000 fans prepare to return to Principality Stadium.

“We are really looking forward to this summer, getting to work with this squad and the three home Tests that we will face,” said Pivac.

“It is great that we are able to select five uncapped players in the squad. It is an opportunity, much like the autumn campaign last year, to get these players into the environment and to expose them to Test match preparation and in some cases Test match rugby.

“This summer isn’t just about the uncapped players it is also about internationals gaining more experience. It is a chance for them to get more starts and appearances under their belt and to step into leadership roles so it is going to be an important period for us.

“We will have a training camp in north Wales before returning to Cardiff for our three matches so it is a great block of time we have together.

“Whilst the Six Nations success is still fresh in many people’s memories it is important we continue to build both depth and our game as we continue to the RWC 2023.”

Wales summer squad

Rhodri Jones (Ospreys) (20 Caps) Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (39 Caps) Gareth Thomas (Ospreys) (*Uncapped) Elliot Dee (Dragons) (37 Caps) Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (17 Caps) Sam Parry (Ospreys) (4 Caps) Leon Brown (Dragons) (17 Caps) Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (57 Caps) Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby) (28 Caps) Adam Beard (Ospreys) (25 Caps) Ben Carter (Dragons) (*Uncapped) Cory Hill (Cardiff Rugby) (32 Caps) Will Rowlands (Wasps) (7 Caps) Taine Basham (Dragons) (*Uncapped) James Botham (Cardiff Rugby) (6 Caps) Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (45 Caps) Josh Navidi (Cardiff Rugby) (28 Caps) Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Rugby) (10 Caps) Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (29 Caps)

Kieran Hardy (Scarlets) (4 Caps) Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby) (22 Caps) Rhodri Williams (Dragons) (3 Caps) Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears) (9 Caps) Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Rugby) (6 Caps) Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (88 Caps) (CAPT) Willis Halaholo (Cardiff Rugby) (4 Caps) Nick Tompkins (Saracens) (10 Caps) Ben Thomas (Cardiff Rugby) (*Uncapped) Hallam Amos (Cardiff Rugby) (23 Caps) Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (95 Caps) Jonah Holmes (Dragons) (5 Caps) Owen Lane (Cardiff Rugby) (2 Caps) Ioan Lloyd (Bristol Bears) (2 Caps) Tom Rogers (Scarlets) (*Uncapped)