Thomas Young’s inclusion is the main headline grabber as Warren Gatland announced a 39-man Wales squad for the 2019 Guinness Six Nations on Tuesday.
The Wasps flanker, and Cardiff Blues academy graduate, has continued to earn rave reviews for his consistent performances in the Gallagher Premiership and returns to the national squad for the first time since the summer of 2017.
Elsewhere the big news is the absence of Taulupe Faletau, who suffered has re-broken the arm that kept him out of the Autumn Internationals when making his comeback for Bath in the Heineken Champions Cup on the weekend.
On a general level there are few shocks in the squad which largely picked itself thanks to the form of certain players and other injuries ruling some names out of contention.
Nicky Smith is deemed fit enough to include at loosehead, while Leon Brown joins Samson Lee, Tomas Francis and Dillon Lewis as tighthead options despite suffering with a knee injury.
Adam Beard is selected after not sustaining any major damage in the game against Cardiff Blues which saw him stretchered off, while Seb Davies may have a chance of playing in the second row with Cory Hill and Alun Wyn Jones the only other lock options.
There is no room for Ollie Griffiths in the back row, while James Davies and Ellis Jenkins are ruled out through injury, but Josh Turnbull does get selected after a superb start to the season which has seen him make the most tackle of any player in the Guinness Pro14.
Concerns over the fitness of both Rhys Patchell and Dan Biggar sees Jarrod Evans included as a fourth fly-half option, while Tyler Morgan will be monitored by the Wales coaches this week despite not being officially part of the squad.
In the back three there is no room for Owen Lane, with Jonah Holmes and Steff Evans selected ahead of him, but Leigh Halfpenny is included despite not playing since November’s win over Australia due to a concussion.
Wales kick-off their campaign away at France on the 1st February before travelling to Italy the week after. The 23rd sees England arrive at the Principality Stadium before the final week of the tournament have Gatland’s men playing Scotland away before Ireland come to Cardiff.
Wales Squad – 2019 Guinness Six Nations
Forwards: Rob Evans (Scarlets, 31 Caps), Wyn Jones (Scarlets, 10 Caps), Nicky Smith (Ospreys, 24 Caps), Elliot Dee (Dragons, 13 Caps), Ryan Elias (Scarlets, 6 Caps), Ken Owens (Scarlets, 60 Caps), Leon Brown (Dragons, 5 Caps), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs, 36 Caps), Samson Lee (Scarlets, 38 Caps), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues, 8 Caps), Jake Ball (Scarlets, 29 Caps), Adam Beard (Ospreys, 8 Caps), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues, 7 Caps), Cory Hill (Dragons, 22 Caps), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, 120 Caps)(Captain), Ross Moriarty (Dragons, 26 Caps), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues, 11 Caps), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, 60 Caps), Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues, 10 Caps), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons, 3 Caps), Thomas Young (Wasps, 2 Caps)
Backs: Aled Davies (Ospreys, 12 Caps), Gareth Davies (Scarlets, 36 Caps), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues, 6 Caps), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues, 21 Caps), Dan Biggar (Northampton, 65 Caps), Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues, 1 Cap), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets, 11 Caps), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets, 67 Caps), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets, 10 Caps), Owen Watkin (Ospreys, 8 Caps), Scott Williams (Ospreys, 57 Caps), Josh Adams (Worcester, 6 Caps), Hallam Amos (Dragons, 18 Caps), Steffan Evans (Scarlets, 12 Caps), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets, 80 Caps), Jonah Holmes (Leicester, 1 Cap), George North (Ospreys, 79 Caps), Liam Williams (Saracens, 51 Caps)