Five new caps in Wales Tests squad - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Five new caps in Wales Tests squad

22/10/2008 07:19:34 AM Comments (0)

Gavin Henson and five new caps figured in Wales coach Warren Gatland's squad announced for the autumn Tests against Australia, South Africa, Canada and New Zealand.

The newcomers are forwards Eifion Roberts and Andy Powell and backs Leigh Halfpenny, Dan Biggar and Martin Roberts.

Centre Henson also featured in the 32-man list despite the Ospreys star only playing once since suffering an ankle injury in April and serving a two-match ban.

Henson is set to return from suspension for Ospreys against Worcester on Sunday.

Explaining his decision to include Henson Gatland said: "Gavin was outstanding for us during the Six Nations last year.

"He is one of our world-class players, and when fit, he is always going to be in our thoughts."

Gatland has called on a handful of players with no Test match experience.

In the forwards, there is a call for Sale prop Roberts and Cardiff Blues back-row forward Powell, while behind the scrum Blues wing Halfpenny, Ospreys fly-half Biggar and Scarlets scrum-half Roberts also feature.

Gatland added: "This squad is larger than I would normally select, and we may reduce it after we get the first two games under our belts.

"But the current size reflects the fact that we could be asking some players to turn out three times in the space of 13 days.

"The Ospreys players, for example, are currently due to play for their region on the Sunday before the South Africa game, and with the Canada match coming only six days later, we will need to use our squad correctly."

There is no recall for the in-form Jamie Robinson or Michael Owen while Gatland also chose not to include Colin Charvis..

Wales' busy autumn schedule kicks off at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium against South Africa on 8 November, before the visits of Canada, New Zealand and Australia on successive weekends.

Wales squad

Backs: Morgan Stoddart (Scarlets), Lee Byrne (Ospreys), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Mark Jones (Scarlets), Shane Williams (Ospreys), Gavin Henson (Ospreys), Tom Shanklin (Cardiff Blues), Andrew Bishop (Ospreys), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), Daniel Biggar (Ospreys), James Hook (Ospreys), Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Martin Roberts (Scarlets), Dwayne Peel (Sale Sharks), Gareth Cooper (Gloucester)

Forwards: Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Duncan Jones (Ospreys), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Eifion Roberts (Sale Sharks), Rhys Thomas (Newport Gwent Dragons), Huw Bennett (Ospreys), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Alun-Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Ian Gough (Ospreys), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Newport Gwent Dragons), Dafydd Jones (Scarlets), Andy Powell (Cardiff Blues), Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues), Robin Sowden-Taylor (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Jones (Ospreys, captain)

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