Wales team v RGC 1404
Wales head coach Robin McBryde has selected six uncapped players in his starting line-up for the pre-tour training match against RGC 1404 on Friday (7pm, Parc Eirias, live on S4C).
In the backs, Ospreys wing Keelan Giles and Scarlets scrum half Aled Davies will have a chance to impress in front of a capacity Parc Eirias crowd and up front Ospreys lock Adam Beard will pack down in the second row for the first time alongside five times-capped Cory Hill. Cardiff Blues’ Seb Davies will start at blindside flanker with Newport Gwent Dragons back row Ollie Griffiths starting at No 8. Ellis Jenkins, whose three Tests to date came on last summer’s tour to New Zealand completes the back row.
McBryde, heading up the coaching team for the June Tests agaist Samoa and Tonga said, “Friday night’s match will give us a perfect chance to give certain players an opportunity and see new combinations working together ahead of the tour.
“Some players need to prove fitness and form and this week’s training camp, along with the match is the ideal opportunity to do that.
“We are grateful to RGC for the match and to Conwy Council for the opportunity to train and play at the fantastic Parc Eirias facilities. We have such a warm welcome whenever we come to North Wales so to be able to play a training match against the Cup winners in front of a big, enthusiastic crowd will give the players a tremendous boost before travelling to the southern hemisphere.”
Jamie Roberts captains the side and will partner Tyler Morgan in the centre. Gareth Anscombe starts at full-back, Sam Davies partners Davies at half-back, Cory Allen starts on the left wing and the starting front row will be made up of Nicky Smith, Kristian Dacey and Aviva Premiership winner Tomas Francis. The Guinness Pro12 winning Scarlets players will start on the bench along with the rest of the training squad including Ospreys prop Rhodri Jones and Scarlets outside half Rhys Patchell who have been adding pending scans to Samson Lee and Phil Dollman. Jake Ball has failed to recover from an ongoing shoulder injury and will not take up his place on the tour.
Wales team v RGC 1404, Friday 2 June 7pm, Parc Eirias (players will be wearing their squad numbers, indicated below):
Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues, 32); Keelan Giles (Ospreys 29), Tyler Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons 27), Jamie Roberts (capt, Harlequins 24), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues 25); Sam Davies (Ospreys 22), Aled Davies (Scarlets 21); Nicky Smith (Ospreys 1), Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues 6), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs 4), Adam Beard (Ospreys 10), Cory Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons 11), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues 14), Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues 17), Ollie Griffiths (Newport Gwent Dragons 16).
Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues 2), Wyn Jones (Scarlets 3), Rhodri Jones (Ospreys 5), Gareth Thomas (Ospreys 33), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys 7), Ryan Elias (Scarlets 8), Scott Otten (Ospreys 9), Rory Thornton (Ospreys 12), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues 13), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets 15), Thomas Young (Wasps 18), Gareth Davies (Scarlets 19), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues 20), Owen Williams (Leicester Tigers 23), Scott Williams (Scarlets 26), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues 28), Steffan Evans (Scarlets 30), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets 31)