Sport

Wales name uncapped NZ back Parkes

Wales name uncapped NZ back Parkes”

The headline news is the number of shock omissions, however, as centres Williams and Roberts, who hold a combined 141 caps, miss out, along with experienced Bath second-row Charteris and talented Ospreys fly-half Davies.

Wales announced a 36-man panel on Tuesday for Autumn Test matches against Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Georgia, with 20 forwards and 16 backs named.

There is a first call-up for New Zealand-born Hadleigh Parkes, even though the 30-year-old Scarlets utility back will only be eligible for selection due to residency rules for the final Test against the Springboks on December 2.

Harlequins centre Roberts and Bath lock Charteris, who have made a combined 167 global appearances, will not take part, with Gatland looking to use the series to blood youngsters ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Players taking up a new deal with a team outside Wales must have won 60 caps and Webb has won 28.

"I'm really excited about this squad as we kick off the two-year countdown to the 2019 Rugby World Cup", Gatland said on Wednesday (NZ time) in a statement.

Townsend's hand has been forced somewhat, given that no fewer than 12 capped internationals are unavailable through injury that includes captain Greig Laidlaw, hooker Fraser Brown, props Allan Dell and Alasdair Dickinson and Saracens duo Sean Maitland and Duncan Taylor, but there are welcome returns from injury for Glasgow centre Huw Jones as well as British and Irish Lions Stuart Hogg and Tommy Seymour.

"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 [the World Cup in] two years' time".

The four other uncapped players are Ospreys centre Owen Watkin, Ospreys flanker Sam Cross and Dragons front-rowers Leon Brown and Elliot Dee.

"The important message for those players who have missed out: the door isn't closed", Gatland added.

Backs: A Davies (Scarlets), G Davies (Scarlets), R Webb (Ospreys), D Biggar (Ospreys), R Patchell (Scarlets), R Priestland (Bath), O Williams (Gloucester), J Davies (Scarlets), T Morgan (Dragons), H Parkes (Scarlets), O Watkin (Ospreys), H Amos (Dragons), A Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), S Evans (Scarlets), L Halfpenny (Scarlets), L Williams (Saracens).



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