Who’ll be in... and un­veils Wales squad

Western Mail - - SPORT - Ben James Rugby writer ben.james@waleson­line.co.uk

THE start of Euro­pean rugby means that the au­tumn in­ter­na­tion­als are on the hori­zon with War­ren Gat­land nam­ing his first Wales squad in over a year on Oc­to­ber 24.

While the ma­jor­ity of the names in the squad are al­ready writ­ten in with per­ma­nent marker, there are still some spots up for grabs as Wales con­tinue to build to­wards the 2019 World Cup.

But just who will Gat­land pick for his squad?

Well, we de­cided to scribble some names on the back of a cig­a­rette packet and put to­gether who we think the Kiwi will se­lect, go­ing on the ba­sis he picks a 36-man squad as was the case last au­tumn and for this year’s Six Na­tions.

So here’s the Wales squad we think War­ren Gat­land is most likely to pick this au­tumn...

BACK-THREE

Leigh Half­penny, Liam Wil­liams, Ge­orge North, St­eff Evans, Hal­lam Amos DROP­PING any one of Bri­tish and Ir­ish Li­ons stars Half­penny, Wil­liams and North would send shock­waves around Welsh rugby, giv­ing their stock at the mo­ment – while Scar­lets flyer Evans has to make the squad given he tops near enough every PRO14 statis­tic go­ing.

As­sum­ing he picks five back-three play­ers, who nabs the fi­nal spot in Gat­land’s plan is the real co­nun­drum, with Hal­lam Amos, Kee­lan Giles, Ash­ton He­witt, Alex Cuth­bert and Rhun Wil­liams all chas­ing an au­tumn call-up.

But the best bet would be Gat­land go­ing with Dragons star Amos, who has of­fered ver­sa­til­ity and foot­balling abil­ity to Wales squads in the past. De­spite only just com­ing back from a long-term in­jury suf­fered against Aus­tralia last Novem­ber, the 23-year-old is prob­a­bly still the next cab off the rank given none of the oth­ers are in par­tic­u­larly sparkling form.

CEN­TRES

Scott Wil­liams, Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies, Tyler Mor­gan LI­ONS man of the se­ries Davies is a sure-fire pick and, fit­ness per­mit­ting, will start against Aus­tralia on Novem­ber 11. Scott Wil­liams is likely to wear the 12 jersey in­side him, de­spite strug­gling for form so far this sea­son.

Har­lequins in­side cen­tre Jamie Roberts will surely fea­ture in the squad, de­spite los­ing his spot in the start­ing XV to Wil­liams last year, after be­ing cho­sen to cap­tain Wales on the sum­mer tour of Tonga and Samoa.

The fi­nal cen­tre spot prob­a­bly goes to Tyler Mor­gan, with Gat­land a big fan of the Dragons mid­fielder who im­pressed at the Arms Park last Fri­day – set­ting up Ge­orge Gas­son’s try with a scin­til­lat­ing break.

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