Daf Jenkins
Dafydd Jenkins is in line to become Wales men's second youngest captain this Guinness Six Nations.

Five uncapped players are selected among the 19 forwards and 15 backs: Cardiff Rugby back rows Alex Mann and Mackenzie Martin plus their club teammates hooker Evan Lloyd and full-back Cameron Winnett, as well as tighthead prop Archie Griffin (Bath Rugby).

Another eight players could make their first Six Nations appearance this Championship, including Keiron Assiratti, Corey Domachowski, Cai Evans, Kemsley Mathias, Joe Roberts and Teddy Williams who all made their international debuts last summer plus Scarlets duo Sam Costelow and Ioan Lloyd.

There are recalls for Ospreys centre Owen Watkin and Cardiff Rugby back row James Botham in a Wales squad that has an average age of 25.

Gatland said: “There’s a little bit of experience in terms of players like George North and Gareth Davies – we wanted a little bit of continuity with that and we’re also thinking about the next RWC cycle and giving some youngsters an opportunity, some youngsters that are not featuring regularly for their club sides.

“I’m really excited about those youngsters and that opportunity to develop them over the next four years. The average age of the squad is about 25 compared to a little bit older during RWC and then you look at this next cycle and you want to get those players to mid to late 20s in terms of experience and age.

“What I’ve learned in the past is that even though we’ve done all that hard work in terms of preparation and build up to the RWC. For me it’s about going back the start a little bit, going back to honing the basics and hammering away at that and almost like starting again. You have to reset in terms of our goals and what we want to achieve. I think Scotland at home is a good game for us, they’re a quality side, they’ll be disappointed with what happened with them in terms of not getting out of the pool at the World Cup.

“For us it’s a great game to start at home with a full crowd, packed stadium, exactly what you want under a bit of pressure. If you can get off to a good start and win your opening game then it gives you an opportunity to go further in the tournament.

“This first game is incredibly important to us and those first two weeks in terms of putting in the hard word and bringing the squad together. I hope people can see that what we’re trying to do with the team is to develop some of these youngsters to help support the regions I think that’s really, really important in terms of us working together as a collective going forward – developing the young players but also preparing for a good Six Nations and for the future.”

Regarding the captaincy, Gatland added: “We’ve been incredibly impressed with Daf in terms of his professionalism and how he prepares. It’s a great opportunity for Daf, he’s captained Exeter on a number of occasions, he’s a well-respected member of the squad. I rang and spoke to him and he was absolutely delighted to accept the role and I’m sure that he’ll do a great job and get a huge amount of support from the rest of the squad.”

The squad will meet up at the national training base in Hensol on Monday 22 January ahead of its first game against Scotland which will take place at a sold out Principality Stadium, Cardiff on Saturday 3 February (KO 16.45h).


Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Rugby – 6 caps)

Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets – 1 cap)

Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 26 caps)

Elliot Dee (Dragons – 46 caps)

Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 38 caps)

Evan Lloyd (Cardiff Rugby – uncapped)

Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Rugby – 2 caps)

Leon Brown (Dragons – 23 caps)

Archie Griffin (Bath Rugby – uncapped)

Adam Beard (Ospreys – 51 caps)

Dafydd Jenkins (C) (Exeter Chiefs – 12 caps)

Will Rowlands (Racing 92 – 29 caps)

Teddy Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 1 cap)

Taine Basham (Dragons – 16 caps)

James Botham (Cardiff Rugby – 9 caps)

Alex Mann (Cardiff Rugby – uncapped)

Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby – uncapped)

Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 13 caps)

Aaron Wainwright (Dragons – 43 caps)

Backs (15)

Gareth Davies (Scarlets – 74 caps)

Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 18 caps)

Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 53 caps)

Sam Costelow (Scarlets – 8 caps)

Cai Evans (Dragons – 1 cap)

Ioan Lloyd (Scarlets – 2 caps)

Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby – 6 caps)

George North (Ospreys – 118 caps)

Joe Roberts (Scarlets – 1 cap)

Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 32 caps)

Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 36 caps)

Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 53 caps)

Rio Dyer (Dragons – 14 caps)

Tom Rogers (Scarlets – 3 caps)

Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby - uncapped)


Saturday 3 February: Wales v Scotland (SOLD OUT), Principality Stadium, Cardiff KO 16.45 GMT

Saturday 10 February: England v Wales, Twickenham Stadium KO 16.45 GMT

Saturday 24 February: Ireland v Wales, Aviva Stadium, Dublin KO 14.15 GMT

Sunday 10 March: Wales v France, Principality Stadium, Cardiff KO 15.00 GMT

Tickets available:

Saturday 16 March: Wales v Italy Principality Stadium, Cardiff KO 14.15 GMT

Tickets for Wales' home fixtures are available here.