Six uncapped players in Wales' autumn internationals squad

Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts has been left out of the Wales squad for this season's autumn Tests
Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts has been left out of the Wales squad for this season's autumn Tests

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has named six uncapped players in the squad for the upcoming autumn internationals.

Dragons duo Leon Brown and Elliot Dee, along with Ospreys' Sam Cross and Owen Watkin and Scarlets' Hadleigh Parkes all feature in the 36-man squad.

The squad led by Alun Wyn Jones will face Australia, Georgia and New Zealand at Millennium Stadium on successive Saturdays starting from 11th November.

Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts along with Scarlets centre Scott Williams and Bath lock Luke Charteris were the notable omissions from the squad that has nine players - Ken Owens, Jones, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar, Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams - from the British and Irish Lions squad that toured New Zealand earlier this year.

Bath fly-half Rhys Priestland, who last played for Wales in the 2015 World Cup opener has been recalled following his impressive performance in the Recreation Ground outfit's European Champions Cup victory over Scarlets last Friday.

Priestland needed one of four available wild-card picks to represent Wales this season until the Welsh Rugby Union last week changed its national player selection policy.

Scrum-half Rhys Webb, who will become ineligible for national selection under the new policy applied to overseas players when he joins Toulon next summer has also been included.

Gatland is keen to lay a solid foundation for the all-important 2019 World Cup and urged the players missed out to make a statement in the domestic circuit.

"I’m really excited about this squad as we kick off the two year countdown to the 2019 RWC,” said Gatland.

"We see this series as an opportunity to expose some players to the test environment and continue to build our game as we look ahead to two years time.

"This autumn is a lot different to 12 months ago, where the focus was all about rankings. We have selected five uncapped players, there are a further six who made their debuts on the summer tour so it is a big opportunity to see all these players in this environment and I’m looking forward to seeing what they are able to do.

"The important message or those players who have missed out, the door isn’t closed.”

Wales squad

Forwards: Rob Evans, Wyn Jones, Nicky Smith, Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Samson Lee, Kristian Dacey, Elliot Dee, Ken Owens, Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Seb Davies, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones (c), Sam Cross, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Lydiate, Josh Navidi, Aaron Shingler, Justin Tipuric

Backs: Aled Davies, Gareth Davies, Rhys Webb, Dan Biggar, Rhys Patchell, Rhys Priestland, Owen Williams, Jonathan Davies, Tyler Morgan, Hadleigh Parkes, Owen Watkin, Hallam Amos, Alex Cuthbert, Steffan Evans, Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams