Wayne Pivac names Johnny McNicholl and Willis Halaholo in first Wales squad
Last Updated: 19/11/19 1:06pm
Wayne Pivac has named New Zealand-born backs Johnny McNicholl and Willis Halaholo among five uncapped players in his first Wales squad to face the Barbarians this month.
McNicholl and Halaholo, both 29, have become eligible for international selection on the three-year residency rule and are joined by fellow uncapped players Taine Basham, Shane Lewis-Hughes and Ashton Hewitt.
New head coach Pivac also named 22 members of the Rugby World Cup group in a 35-man squad for the match against a Baa-Baas side coached by predecessor Warren Gatland on November 30.
Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones is among a number of star names not included, with Pivac already unable to call upon Jonathan Davies and Rhys Patchell through injury alongside Liam Williams and Tomas Francis.
England-based players, including Northampton's Dan Biggar and Saracens prop Rhys Carre, are also unavailable, because Premiership players can not be released to other countries for matches outside the designated World Rugby Test window.
Scarlets prop Rob Evans, who missed out on the World Cup, features in the squad and there are also opportunities for fly-half Sam Davies and Dragons back-row forward Ollie Griffiths.
"It is great to get the squad announced and get the ball rolling on our first meet-up and first fixture next week," Pivac said.
"This Barbarians game is a great chance for us as a new squad and management to get together and to set the scene for what we are looking to do. Having this opportunity ahead of tournament rugby in the Six Nations is ideal for us.
"It is also a great chance for some players to really put their hand up and show what they are about and take to the field in front of a big crowd at home.
"We will be bringing a few additional players in to train with the squad during the week, just to see them in the environment and will also be bringing some of the injured players in for some of the scene-setting style sessions."
Wales squad to face Barbarians
Elliot Dee (Dragons), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Leon Brown (Dragons), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Ospreys), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues), Taine Basham (Dragons), Ollie Griffiths (Dragons), Shane Lewis-Hughes (Cardiff Blues), Ross Moriarty (Dragons), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons)
Aled Davies (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues), Sam Davies (Dragons), Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues), Willis Halaholo (Cardiff Blues), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Owen Lane (Cardiff Blues), Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues), Steff Evans (Scarlets), Ashton Hewitt (Dragons), Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets), Hallam Amos (Cardiff Blues), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets)