Warren Gatland names his 31-man Wales World Cup squad

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Wales head coach Warren Gatland has sprung a front row surprise in his 31-man Wales squad that will travel to Japan for the Rugby World Cup.

Scarlets duo Rob Evans and Samson Lee have been left out, with Saracens loosehead Rhys Carre included after winning is first cap against Ireland on Saturday and Wyn Jones, who plays backup to Evans at the Scarlets, named ahead of them.

Dillon Lewis and Tomas Francis are the only recognised tighthead props in the squad, with Jones believed to be the emergency cover if required. The three hookers in the training squad all make the plane as expected.

Cory Hill is picked, despite suffered from a leg fracture that will keep him out until potentially the third game of the pool stage, with the extra spot available from only picking five props going to the back row, where Aaron Shingler and James Davies are both selected.

In the backs all three scrum-halves in the training squad are selected, while Rhys Patchell is preferred to Jarrod Evans in the battle to join Dan Biggar in the 31 as a fly-half, and Owen Watkin beats Scott Williams in a similar battle at centre.

The squad is rounded off with Hallam Amos getting the nod as the fifth back three player, ahead of Owen Lane, Steff Evans and Jonah Holmes.

Gatland has moved to clarify that Rob Evans and Samson Lee are both fully fit, and that they were left out as part of the selection process rather than due to injury, but did note that durability came into consideration when finalising the squad.

Wales now play Ireland in the final pre-World Cup test match in Dublin next Saturday, before flying out to Japan the following Wednesday. The first pool game takes place against Georgia on Monday 23rd September.

Wales World Cup Squad

Prop: Nicky Smith, Rhys Carre, Wyn Jones, Tomas Francis, Dillon Lewis

Hooker: Ken Owens, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias

Second Row: Alun Wyn Jones, Cory Hill, Jake Ball, Adam Beard

Back Row: Justin Tipuric, Josh Navidi, Ross Moriarty, Aaron Wainwright, Aaron Shingler, James Davies

Scrum Half: Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams, Aled Davies

Fly Half: Dan Biggar, Rhys Patchell

Centre: Hadleigh Parkes, Jonathan Davies, Owen Watkin

Back Three: George North, Josh Adams, Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Hallam Amos


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