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Wales announce 39 man Guinness 6 Nations Squad

Faletau – OUT: Halfpenny & Moriarty – IN

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Wales have named their 39-man squad for the forthcoming Guinness Six Nations.

The experienced squad will again be led by captain Alun Wyn Jones, kick off the 2019 tournament in Paris against France on Friday February 1.

Leigh Halfpenny and Ross Moriarty who are both currently sidelined with concussion, are included in Wales’ 39-man squad for the Six Nations but as was expected Taulupe Faletau will miss the tournament after breaking his arm playing for Bath.

The same 10 front row forwards who featured in Wales’ 2018 Under Armour Series squad are again named.

Scarlets pair Rob Evans and Wyn Jones along with Nicky Smith are named as the loose-head props with Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias and Ken Owens the hookers in the squad. Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Samson Lee and Dillon Lewis provide the tight-head options.

Captain Jones, who has amassed 120 Wales caps and 48 Six Nations appearances to date, is joined by Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Seb Davies and Cory Hill as the second row options.

Ross Moriarty, Aaron Wainwright and Justin Tipuric who all featured for Wales in the autumn are again named. Josh Navidi returns from injury to be included in the squad alongside call-ups for the versatile Josh Turnbull and Thomas Young.

Wales have selected the same 3 scrum halves that featured last November in Gareth Davies, Aled Davies and Tomos Williams.

Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Rhys Patchell and Jarrod Evans, who made his international debut in 2018, are named as the fly-halves.

Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Owen Watkin and Scott Williams are the four centres named.

Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Steffan Evans, Leigh Halfpenny, Jonah Holmes, George North and Liam Williams provide Wales’ back-three options.

“We are incredibly excited heading into the 2019 Guinness Six Nations and we are looking forward to kicking the tournament off in Paris against France,”

Warren Gatland.

“We have a really experienced squad of players, who have been around a number of campaigns together and we feel we are in a pretty good place going into this huge year.

“We have got a few injuries and have selected a larger squad because of that. “We initially selected 40 players but that was reduced to 39 on Monday with Taulupe’s injury ruling him out.

“Six Nations rugby is an important time of year for rugby fans, players and coaches alike and we are all looking forward to meeting up and preparing for this year’s championship.”

WALES SQUAD – 2019 GUINNESS SIX NATIONS

FORWARDS:

Rob Evans (Scarlets) (31 Caps)
Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (10 Caps)
Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (24 Caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (13 Caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (6 Caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (60 Caps)
Leon Brown (Dragons) (5 Caps)
Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (36 Caps)
Samson Lee (Scarlets) (38 Caps)
Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) (8 Caps)
Jake Ball (Scarlets) (29 Caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys) (8 Caps)
Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues) (7 Caps)
Cory Hill (Dragons) (22 Caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (120 Caps) (CAPT)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (26 Caps)
Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (11 Caps)
Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (60 Caps)
Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues) (10 Caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (3 Caps)
Thomas Young (Wasps) (2 Caps)

BACKS:

Aled Davies (Ospreys) (12 Caps)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (36 Caps)
Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues) (6 Caps)
Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues) (21 Caps)
Dan Biggar (Northampton) (65 Caps)
Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues) (1 Cap)
Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) (11 Caps)
Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (67 Caps)
Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (10 Caps)
Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (8 Caps)
Scott Williams (Ospreys) (57 Caps)
Josh Adams (Worcester) (6 Caps)
Hallam Amos (Dragons) (18 Caps)
Steffan Evans (Scarlets) (12 Caps)
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (80 Caps)
Jonah Holmes (Leicester) (1 Cap)
George North (Ospreys) (79 Caps)
Liam Williams (Saracens) (51 Caps)

6 Nations

Wales Dealt Six Nations Double-Blow

Wales’ Six Nations title defence has been dealt a massive blow already with two stars facing surgery to fix injuries picked up on international duty

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(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Wales will be without both Jonathan Davies and Rhys Patchell for some part of the 2020 Six Nations campaign due to injury it has been confirmed.

Davies, a key member of the Welsh squad for the past number of seasons sustained a knee injury during Wales’ recent Rugby World Cup campaign, and Scarlets have announced that he will undergo surgery on the injury.

The recovery time for the for the centre is set to be six months, meaning he will miss the entire Six Nations tournament in what could be a critical blow as they look to defend their title. While it also means that he could potentially miss the entire club season for Scarlets.

As for Patchell, things aren’t as severe as Davies, but the fly-half is still set to miss the start of the Six Nations with a shoulder injury, which he too will have surgery on.

He is expected to miss between 12-16 weeks due to the injury in what is a cruel blow for a player that has suffered with injury previously, but had shown some brilliant form in recent times.

It is a far from ideal start to life at the helm for new head coach Wayne Pivac as he heads into his first tournament with the team.

As well as these injuries there are also further concerns regarding the likes of stars Liam Williams and Josh Navidi, who are both currently sidelined through injury, with the former looking likely to miss some part of the Six Nations.

Wales are looking to bounce-back during the tournament following a fourth-place finish at the World Cup, with all players hoping to impress Warren Gatland’s successor.

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6 Nations

Munster Star in Six Nations Fitness Race

Munster have confirmed that one of their key men is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines which could put his Six Nations spot in doubt

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(Photo by Andrew Surma/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Munster fly-half Joey Carbery is set for yet another spell in the sidelines according to head coach Johann van Graan due to injury.

Van Graan confirmed that Carbery is still suffering from an ankle injury which he sustained during Ireland’s Rugby World Cup warm-up game against Italy and is not able to put a return date for his comeback  due to the nature of the injury. 

“He is going to be out for some time. We got to make sure he gets his strength back and we get that ankle fully functional. From Joey’s point of view, obviously, he wants to play but his body is not right. Because of the type of injury he is definitely not going to be back in the next few weeks, I can tell you that,” he said on Carbery. 

The out-half was selected ahead of Leinster’s Ross Byrne in Ireland’s World Cup squad despite carrying the injury. However, it was reiterated throughout the tournament that he had fully recovered, which now appears to be untrue. 

His head coach also told reporters that the 23-year-old will not undergo surgery on the injury. When asked about the possibility of Carbery playing before Christmas van Graan admitted he is hopeful but he cannot be sure right now. 

“I hope so. At this stage it is very difficult for the medical team to determine that. Because he has had it for quite a while the most important thing now is Joey’s health. He is a Munster player. He is under my watch now so we have got to look after him. He is very important for the national team, I believe, for the future of Irish rugby,” he added. 

It is a massive blow for the Munster player who only moved from Leinster ahead of last season, and after starting brightly in the red jersey he picked up a hamstring injury that left him out for large portions of the season. 

The fear for Carbery now however is that due to the nature of the injury and the inability to place a return date, he could face a race to be fit for Ireland’s Six Nations campaign at the start of February next year. Carbery will hopefully be back in action and back to match fitness by then as he will want the chance to impress new head coach Andy Farrell during his first tournament at the helm.

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6 Nations

Japan Could Receive Six Nations Invitation

Following their incredible performances during this year’s Rugby World Cup it appears as though hosts Japan could be set for inclusion in one of the biggest international tournaments according to reports

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(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Japan are to be handed an invite into the Six Nations after their impressive showing at this year’s Rugby World Cup, according to a report by the Mail Online.

The report by Martin Samuel claims that the World Cup host nation, who went all the way to the quarter-finals for the first time in their history, are to “receive a shock invitation” to European rugby’s elite international competition. 

It was previously thought that a move to the Rugby Championship would make more sense and that it was on the cards as the Southern Hemisphere nations were impressed by the brand of rugby that Japan played. 

However, it appears as though the tournament organisers are hesitant to bring them into the championship straight away, and are looking to include them within the next four or five years. Which would see them join come the end of the next World Cup cycle and see them miss out on some valuable development time ahead of the tournament. 

The report is clear that although formal talks between the Brave Blossoms and the Six Nations are yet to take place that World Rugby have been made aware that leading figures within the European organisation are very interested in the prospect. 

It would be a brilliant opportunity for the Japanese as they look to expand interest in the sport within the country and are in a prime position to do so with interest at an all time high following the success of the tournament in the Land of the Rising Sun. 

They have earned respect especially within Europe following wins over Six Nations side’s Scotland and Ireland during the group stages of the World Cup with Japan now sitting ahead of the former in 8th position in the World Rugby rankings due to their performances. 

Japan were among several tier two nations backing the making of a Nations Championship which would have allowed the likes of Fiji and themselves compete against the best nations around on an annual basis and with these developments it will raise further questions as to why the competition isn’t being developed. 

We will have to wait and see how things progress over the coming weeks and months but it seems as though Japan are in with a bigger chance than ever before in being added to one of the biggest international tournaments on the planet.

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