Iconic Wales veteran Alun Wyn Jones is a long shot to make the squad set to visit South Africa for three Tests in July.
According to Welsh website WalesOnline, Jones would not make the starting lineup to face the Springboks in the first Test at Loftus Versfeld.
This comes after Wales finished their Six Nations campaign with a historic first-ever loss to Italy in Cardiff, the Italian’s first win in the competition since 2015.
In total, the hypothetical starting XV features nine changes to that starting lineup, which includes Will Rowlands in the No 4 jersey instead of Jones, who captained the British & Irish Lions during last year’s series against the Boks.
“Alun Wyn Jones? A conversation needs to be had about what’s best for him at this stage of his career,” wrote Mark Orders. “Would he be best served by having six weeks off and a proper pre-season? Or should he tour South Africa, return and start next term a shade late with a busy run-in to the World Cup to be contemplated?
“Some facts: Saturday was his first game in close on five months, but in 60 minutes he made more metres with ball in hand, 25, than all but three of the starting locks in the final round of the Six Nations. He also banged in eight tackles and came up with other stuff that doesn’t lend itself to statistics.
“Only Adam Beard and Tadhg Beirne passed the ball more than Jones over 80 minutes, too, while the former Wales skipper made more offloads than any of his 11 starting second-row rivals.
“Maro Itoje made five metres more than him over an entire game against France, but he also managed just five tackles and missed four. Such stuff happens, but Wales lost and the mood music is different.
“And, of course, Itoje played against the Grand Slam winners, not the bottom team. So perspective required, of course.
“That Jones can play better is not in doubt, but he will know more than anyone that places have to be earned at Test level and past deeds do not guarantee places. If they did, Barry John would still be Wales’ flyhalf.
“Will Rowlands has come through over the past two campaigns and Adam Beard has performed well, too. Arguably, Rowlands has been Wales’ player of this Six Nations.
“So the world changed while Jones has been away and it’s over to him to respond. It would be a surprise if he didn’t relish the challenge. But expect Rowlands to start the first Test of the summer.”