Wales name 54-member training squad for 2023 Rugby World Cup

Wales head coach Warren Gatland
Wales head coach Warren Gatland

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has announced a 54-man training squad for the upcoming Rugby World Cup.

Following his move to Exeter Chiefs, Joe Hawkins has been left out while Will Rowlands, George North, Liam Williams, Alun Wyn Jones, Leigh Halfpenny, and Ken Owens make a return.

The squad that will be trimmed down to 33 for the showpiece event has 10 uncapped players in Corey Domachowski, Kensley Matthias, Keiron Assiratti, Will Davies-King, Henry Thomas, Teddy Williams, Max Llewellyn, Joe Roberts, Keiran Williams and Cai Evans.

Thomas, who has seven England caps to his name is available for selection through his father and the change in World Rugby's regulation that will allow a player to represent a second nation after a cooling period of three years.

"We've picked a large squad for a number of reasons. We will reduce the squad to about 45 before we go to Switzerland so there's a bit of jeopardy in the first part of the campaign," said Gatland.

"It's a great opportunity for some players that were involved in the Six Nations and some youngsters for the future to show us what they are capable of doing in the first part of the preparation.

"In the past we've prided ourselves on how hard we've worked and how fit the squad has been. So that's the message to the players to come in and make a statement, work really hard, make the coaches sit up and take notice and get yourself in great shape physically.

"A lot of skill work needs to be done and there's an opportunity to work on the detail you often don't get when you go into Six Nations or Autumn campaigns when you have limited preparation time."

Wales' training squad:

Forwards: Rhys Carre, Corey Domachowski, Kemsley Mathias, Nicky Smith, Gareth Thomas, Eliott Dee, Ryan Elias, Dewi Lake, Ken Owens, Keiron Assiratti, Tomas Francis, Will Davies-King, Dillon Lewis, Henry Thomas, Adam Beard, Ben Carter, Rhys Davies, Cory Hill, Dafydd Jenkins, Alun Wyn Jones, Will Rowlands, Christ Tshiunza, Teddy Williams, Taine Basham, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Lydiate, Josh Macleod, Jac Morgan, Tommy Reffell, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright

Backs: Gareth Davies, Kieran Hardy, Rhys Webb, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Sam Costelow, Owen Williams, Mason Grady, Max Llewellyn, George North, Joe Roberts, Nick Tompkins, Johnny Williams, Keiran Williams, Josh Adams, Alex Cuthbert, Rio Dyer, Cai Evans, Leigh Halfpenny, Louis Rees-Zammit, Tom Rogers, Liam Williams