Christ Tshiunza and Thomas Young in Wales autumn rugby squad

Gareth Anscombe returns to the Wales squad for the autumn internationals
Gareth Anscombe returns to the Wales squad for the autumn internationals

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has unveiled a 38-member squad for the upcoming autumn international series.

Wasps flanker Thomas Young, who earlier confirmed that he will join Cardiff Blues ahead of the 2022/23 season has been included despite featuring in just three Tests previously.

Exeter lock Christ Tshiunza, who can also play at back-row has been included in the squad that has also seen Gareth Anscombe and Ellis Jenkins recalled.

Anscombe has not featured for Wales since 2019 when he was sidelined with a knee injury while Jenkins last played for Wales in November 2018.

Pivac will have eight members from the British and Irish Lions squad that toured South Africa including the likes of Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Alun Wyn Jones, Adam Beard, Gareth Davies, Dan Biggar, Louis Rees-Zammit and Liam Williams. However, Wales will be without players from clubs in England and France for the game against New Zealand on 30th October as the encounter falls outside the traditional international window.

The squad also has another uncapped player in Scarlets prop WillGriff John.

"We understand that the opening game against the All Blacks is outside of the international window but I believe that we all need this game, after what has been a particularly difficult time for everyone because of the global pandemic," said Pivac.

"It will be fantastic to play in front of a capacity crowd once again, with a number of these players getting to experience that for the first time.

"This has been one of the most difficult selections I've had to make with less rugby than would have normally taken place ahead of a campaign in addition to injuries and player unavailability.

"When you look at selection you want to select in-form players but it's fair to say that a number of players haven't hit their top form. We have looked at past performances at this level, including a very successful Six Nations campaign, and we've cross-credit some of that information into current form if you like.

"Injuries in certain positions, particularly at openside, have forced us to look a little bit deeper than we would normally but what it does mean is that more players have an opportunity to be exposed to this level of rugby. This can only be a good thing as we continue our preparations for the 2023 World Cup."

Wales will be lining up against New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Australia in their autumn international campaign.

Wales squad:

Forwards: Wyn Jones, Rhodri Jones, Rhys Carre, Ken Owens, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Dillon Lewis, WillGriff John, Tomas Francis, Alun Wyn Jones, Adam Beard, Will Rowlands, Ben Carter, Seb Davies, Christ Tshiunza, Ross Moriarty, Thomas Young, Taine Basham, Ellis Jenkins, Aaron Wainwright, Taulupe Faletau

Backs: Tomos Williams, Gareth Davies, Kieran Hardy, Gareth Anscombe, Rhys Priestland, Dan Biggar, Callum Sheedy, Johnny Williams, Jonathan Davies, Nick Tompkins, Uilisi Halaholo, Ben Thomas, Josh Adams, Owen Lane, Louis Rees-Zammit, Johnny McNicholl, Liam Williams