Dafydd Jenkins to lead Wales in Six Nations tournament

Wales head coach Warren Gatland
Wales head coach Warren Gatland

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has named Exeter lock Dafydd Jenkins as the captain for the upcoming Six Nations tournament.

The 21-year-old will lead the 34-man squad with Archie Griffin, Cameron Winnett, Alex Mann, Mackenzie Martin and Evan Lloyd included the squad for the first time.

The squad has been hit by retirement of Dan Biggar and Leigh Halfpenny while Liam Williams is unavailable as he headed to Japan to join Kubota Spears. The selection was also hit by the news of Louis Rees-Zammit heading to the NFL.

Keiron Assiratti, Corey Domachowski, Cai Evans, Kemsley Mathias, Joe Roberts and Teddy Williams along with Sam Costelow and Ioan Lloyd will make their Six Nations debut while Jac Morgan and Ken Owens are unavailable due to injuries.

Cardiff number eight Taulupe Faletau, who last played for Wales in October World Cup game against Georgia is recovering from a calf injury.

"There's a little bit of experience in terms of players like George North and Gareth Davies - we wanted a little bit of continuity with that and we're also thinking about the next Rugby World Cup cycle and giving some youngsters an opportunity, some youngsters that are not featuring regularly for their club sides," said Gatland.

"I'm really excited about those youngsters and that opportunity to develop them over the next four years.

"What I've learned in the past is that even though we've done all that hard work in terms of preparation and build up to the RWC. For me it's about going back the start a little bit, going back to honing the basics and hammering away at that and almost like starting again. You have to reset in terms of our goals and what we want to achieve."

Wales will begin their Six Nations campaign with a clash against Scotland on 4th February.

Wales squad:

Forwards: Corey Domachowski, Kemsley Mathias, Gareth Thomas, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Evan Lloyd, Keiron Assiratti, Leon Brown, Archie Griffin, Adam Beard, Dafydd Jenkins, Will Rowlands, Teddy Williams, Taine Basham, James Botham, Alex Mann, Mackenzie Martin, Tommy Reffell, Aaron Wainwright.

Backs: Gareth Davies, Kieran Hardy, Tomos Williams, Sam Costelow, Cai Evans, Ioan Lloyd, Mason Grady, George North, Joe Roberts, Nick Tompkins, Owen Watkin, Josh Adams, Rio Dyer, Tom Rogers, Cameron Winnett.