Wales name 38-man Autumn squad: Wasps' Thomas Young included ahead of Cardiff move; several players unable to face NZ
Wales head coach Wayne Pivac names 38-man squad for Autumn; group contains two uncapped players in Exeter's Christ Tshiunza and Scarlets' WillGriff John; Wasps' Thomas Young included as he is confirmed as moving back to Cardiff; All Premiership players unable to face New Zealand on Oct 30
Last Updated: 13/10/21 2:14pm
Uncapped Exeter forward Christ Tshiunza has won a surprise Wales call-up as part of a 38-man squad which includes Wasps flanker Thomas Young ahead of his move to Cardiff.
Tshiunza, a 19-year-old forward, was born in the Congo but moved to Wales in 2010 and has been called up as part of Wales' Autumn Nations Series plans.
Tshiunza can play in the back-row and second row, with Wales naming him among their lock contingent.
Elsewhere, Gareth Anscombe and Ellis Jenkins have both been named by Wales head coach Wayne Pivac following long absences from international rugby.
Ospreys fly-half Anscombe has not played for Wales since suffering a knee injury in August 2019, and it is almost three years since Cardiff flanker Jenkins last featured, having also been sidelined by knee problems.
The comeback theme, meanwhile, is continued by ex-Bath playmaker and current Cardiff fly-half Rhys Priestland, whose 50th and most recent Wales outing was against New Zealand in 2017.
Young, 29 and capped three times, has been ineligible for Wales in recent seasons due to a senior player selection policy that means players plying their trade outside of Wales cannot be selected if they have won fewer than 60 caps.
But it is understood he has received dispensation to be available for Wales immediately following confirmation of his move to Cardiff for next term.
The clause was used in scrum-half Rhys Webb's case ahead of the 2020 Six Nations after it was announced he would be re-joining the Ospreys from Toulon.
Wales will host New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Australia on successive weekends between October 20 and November 20.
Head Coach Pivac calls on the experience of eight 2021 British & Irish Lions in Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Alun Wyn Jones, Adam Beard, Gareth Davies, Dan Biggar, Louis Rees-Zammit and Liam Williams.
Wyn Jones is named alongside looseheads Rhodri Jones and Rhys Carre. Dillon Lewis, WillGriff John, who was named in the 2020 Guinness Six Nations squad but is uncapped, and Tomas Francis are named as tightheads.
Ken Owens is named alongside his Scarlets teammate Ryan Elias and Dragon's Elliot Dee at hooker
Captain Alun Wyn Jones, who returned to action for the Ospreys last weekend, will become the most capped international player in history if he makes an appearance during the Autumn Nation Series 2021.
Adam Beard, Will Rowlands, Ben Carter, Seb Davies and Tshuinza are named as the second rows with Ross Moriarty, Taine Basham, Jenkins, Aaron Wainwright, Taulupe Faletau and Young named in the back-row.
The scrum-halves included in the squad are Tomos Williams, Gareth Davies and Kieran Hardy
Priestland, Anscombe, Dan Biggar and Callum Sheedy are included as the fly-half options.
Johnny Williams, Jonathan Davies, Nick Tompkins and Uilisi Halaholo will fill the centre berths with Josh Adams, Owen Lane, Louis Rees-Zammit, Johnny McNicholl and Liam Williams named in the back-three.
"We understand that the opening game against the All Blacks is outside of the international window but I believe that we all need this game, after what has been a particularly difficult time for everyone because of the global pandemic," said Pivac.
"It will be fantastic to play in front of a capacity crowd once again, with a number of these players getting to experience that for the first time.
"This has been one of the most difficult selections I've had to make with less rugby than would have normally taken place ahead of a campaign in addition to injuries and player unavailability.
"When you look at selection you want to select in-form players but it's fair to say that a number of players haven't hit their top form. We have looked at past performances at this level, including a very successful Six Nations campaign, and we've cross-credit some of that information into current form if you like.
"Injuries in certain positions, particularly at openside, have forced us to look a little bit deeper than we would normally but what it does mean is that more players have an opportunity to be exposed to this level of rugby. This can only be a good thing as we continue our preparations for the 2023 World Cup."
Wales' 38-man squad for Autumn Nations Series 2021
Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (35 caps)
Rhodri Jones (Ospreys) (21 caps)
Rhys Carre (Cardiff Rugby) (13 caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (82 caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (40 caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (19 caps)
Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby) (31 caps)
WillGriff John (Scarlets) (Uncapped)
Tomas Francis (Ospreys) (57 caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (148 caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys) (25 caps)
Will Rowlands (Dragons) (10 caps)
Ben Carter (Dragons) (3 caps)
Seb Davies (Cardiff Rugby) (9 caps)
Christ Tshiunza* (Exeter Chiefs) (Uncapped)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (48 caps)
Thomas Young* (Wasps) (3 caps)
Taine Basham (Dragons) (3 caps)
Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Rugby) (11 caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) 31 caps)
Taulupe Faletau* (Bath Rugby) (86 caps)
Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby) (25 caps)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (62 caps)
Kieran Hardy (Scarlets) (7 caps)
Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys) (27 caps)
Rhys Priestland (Cardiff Rugby) (50 caps)
Dan Biggar* (Northampton Saints) (92 caps)
Callum Sheedy* (Bristol Bears) (12 caps)
Johnny Williams (Scarlets) (3 caps)
Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (91 caps)
Nick Tompkins* (Saracens) (13 caps)
Uilisi Halaholo (Cardiff Rugby) (7 caps)
Ben Thomas (Cardiff Rugby) (1 cap)
Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby) (32 caps)
Owen Lane (Cardiff Rugby) (4 caps)
Louis Rees-Zammit* (Gloucester Rugby) (9 caps)
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) (5 caps)
Liam Williams (Scarlets) (71 caps)
*Unavailable for selection for New Zealand