Leigh Halfpenny included in Wales squad despite concussion
Last Updated: 15/01/19 1:50pm
Wales head coach Warren Gatland has announced a 39-man squad for the 2019 Six Nations, including Leigh Halfpenny.
Lock Alun Wyn Jones captains a squad that features many of Gatland's tried-and-tested players, including full-back Halfpenny and backrower Ross Moriarty, despite both of them being sidelined with concussion.
Scarlets star Halfpenny has not played since suffering concussion during Wales' victory over Australia on November 10, while Moriarty has been out since December.
Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac stated last Tuesday that the 30-year-old would not feature for "three to five weeks" after seeing a specialist.
That would suggest he will be unavailable for Wales' Six Nations opener against France on February 1, which is followed by an appointment with Italy in Rome eight days later.
Also included in the Six Nations group are Wasps flanker Thomas Young and Leicester back Jonah Holmes.
Young, who won caps against Tonga and Samoa in 2017, has been among the Gallagher Premiership's form players this term.
Holmes made his Test debut earlier this season, and he has continued to shine for his club Leicester, despite the Tigers' inconsistent form.
Gatland however will not be able to call upon the services of Bath No 8 Taulupe Faletau, who broke his arm for the second time this season.
Gatland confirmed that he had originally selected a 40-player group, which included Faletau, before injury ruled him out.
This season's tournament is Gatland's final Six Nations as Wales boss. He steps down after the World Cup in Japan later this year.
"We are incredibly excited heading into the 2019 Guinness Six Nations and we are looking forward to kicking the tournament off in Paris against France," said Gatland.
"We have got a few injuries and have selected a larger squad because of that. We initially selected 40 players but that was reduced to 39 on Monday with Taulupe's injury ruling him out.
"We have a really experienced squad of players, who have been around a number of campaigns together and we feel we are in a pretty good place going into this huge year.
"Six Nations rugby is an important time of year for rugby fans, players and coaches alike and we are all looking forward to meeting up and preparing for this year's championship."
Forwards: Rob Evans (Scarlets), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Elliot Dee (Dragons), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Leon Brown (Dragons), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues), Cory Hill (Dragons), Alun Wyn Jones (captain, Ospreys) Ross Moriarty (Dragons), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull (Cardiff Blues), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons), Thomas Young (Wasps).
Backs: Aled Davies (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Dan Biggar (Northampton), Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Scott Williams (Ospreys), Josh Adams (Worcester), Hallam Amos (Dragons), Steffan Evans (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets), Jonah Holmes (Leicester), George North (Ospreys), Liam Williams (Saracens).