Warren Gatland has selected his 30 man squad for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand during September and October. He has named Sam Warburton to captain the squad at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Whilst Martyn Williams is left out after winning his 99th cap and leading Wales to a 28-13 win over Argentina on Saturday. Perhaps a big gamble is the inclusion of, Prop Gethin Jenkins who goes to New Zealand even though he has not played since January due to toe and calf problems. Also fly-half Stephen Jones is included having not played in Wales’ August warm-ups.
Warren Gatland commented on Jenkins (quote) He could potentially be fit for us for the first game against South Africa, we’re looking perhaps at the game against Samoa, bringing him in and hoping he’s going to be alright for that. He is an important, quality player – we’re taking a little bit of a risk on Gethin, but we know how good he is. (end quote)
Another to miss out is scrum-halve Dwayne Peel, the Sale player has been unable to convince Gatland he should be selected. Richard Hibbard the hooker is out following an ankle injury from the Argentina game.
On his selections Gatland said: (quote) If we had gone 17-13 [forward-backs] on the split we would have taken two sevens. We think we’ve got not a bad seven who’s leading the side at the moment. We think he’s world class and I think Martyn’s well aware of that. We feel Dan Lydiate can cover there if there was an injury during a match and if Sam gets a serious injury then we are going to have to look at a replacement. (end quote)
Wales are in Pool ‘D’ with South Africa, Fiji, Samoa and Namibia.
Forwards: Gethin Jenkins (Blues), Lloyd Burns (Dragons), Huw Bennett, Ryan Bevington, Adam Jones, Paul James (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets, Craig Mitchell (Exeter), Bradley Davies, Sam Warburton (Blues), Luke Charteris, Danny Lydiate, Toby Faletau (Dragons), Ryan Jones, Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Andy Powell (Sale Sharks).
Backs: Michael Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Blues), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), Jonathan Davies, Stephen Jones, Rhys Priestland, Scott Williams (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Blues), Lee Byrne (Clermont Auvergne), Aled Brew (Dragons), Shane Williams (Ospreys), George North (Scarlets).