Eight Lions in Wales squad

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has included eight British & Irish Lions players in the 38-man squad for the Tests against New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Fiji.

2021 Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones, as well as Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Adam Beard, Gareth Davies, Dan Biggar, Louis Rees-Zammit and Liam Williams have all been named in the squad.

There are only two uncapped players: Scarlets’ WillGriff John and Exeter Chiefs’ Christ Tshiunza.

Alun Wyn Jones, who returned to action for the Ospreys this past weekend, will become the most capped international player in history if he makes an appearance during the series.

Cardiff Rugby’s Rhys Priestland returns to the squad for the first time since making his last international appearance, against New Zealand, in November 2017. Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar and Callum Sheedy are also included as flyhalves.

“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,” Pivac said.

“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 start their series against New Zealand on 30 October and will then face the Springboks on Saturday, 6 November. Pivac’s team will host Fiji the following Sunday, 14 November, before finishing their series against Australia on Saturday, 20 November.

Wales squad:

Photo: Getty Images

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Dylan Jack