(Reuters) - Wales coach Wayne Pivac has named seven uncapped players in his 38-man squad for the finish to the 2020 Six Nations and the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup, with exciting wing Louis Rees-Zammit among those hoping to make his debut.
The Gloucester player is one of five uncapped backs, along with scrumhalf Kieran Hardy, flyhalves Callum Sheedy and Ioan Lloyd, and centre Johnny Williams as Pivac builds his pool ahead of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Hooker Sam Parry and back-row Josh Macleod will also be looking to make an impact and win their first test caps.
“This campaign is hugely important looking to the future and long term to the RWC in 2023,” Pivac said in a media release from the Welsh Rugby Union on Tuesday.
“It is a chance for us to continue developing our game, give opportunities to players and test them at this level. It is ideal preparation for the all-important 2021 Six Nations which will come around quickly.”
The major name missing from the group is injured scrum-half Tomos Williams.
Wales will play France in Paris in a friendly international on Oct. 24, before they complete their 2020 Six Nations campaign at home to Scotland a week later.
Their Autumn Nations Cup fixtures see the side face Ireland in Dublin (Nov. 13), followed by home games against Georgia (Nov. 21) and England (Nov. 28).
Forwards (21): Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues, 8 Caps), Wyn Jones (Scarlets, 25 Caps), Nicky Smith (Ospreys, 35 Caps), Ken Owens (Scarlets, 77 Caps), Ryan Elias (Scarlets, 13 Caps), Sam Parry (Ospreys)*, Samson Lee (Scarlets, 41 Caps), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues, 26 Caps), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs, 48 Caps), Leon Brown (Dragons, 10 Caps), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, 138 Caps), Will Rowlands (Wasps, 1 Cap), Jake Ball (Scarlets, 46 Caps), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues, 7 Caps), Cory Hill (Cardiff Blues, 25 Caps), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons, 21 Caps), Ross Moriarty (Dragons, 45 Caps), Taulupe Faletau (Bath, 76 Caps), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues, 24 Caps), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, 76 Caps), Josh Macleod (Scarlets)*.
Backs (17): Rhys Webb (Ospreys, 33 Caps), Gareth Davies (Scarlets, 53 Caps), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets)*, Dan Biggar (Northampton, 83 Caps), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets, 19 Caps), Callum Sheedy (Bristol)*, Owen Watkin (Ospreys, 22 Caps), Nick Tompkins (Dragons, 4 Caps), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets, 81 Caps), Johnny Williams (Scarlets)*, George North (Ospreys, 95 Caps), Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues, 24 Caps), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester)*, Jonah Holmes (Dragons, 3 Caps), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets, 89 Caps), Ioan Lloyd (Bristol)*, Liam Williams (Scarlets, 63 Caps).
Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Hugh Lawson
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