Halfpenny back to boost Wales

Star fullback Leigh Halfpenny has been included in Wales' 36-man squad to play the Springboks, Wallabies, Argentina and Japan in November.

Halfpenny, who plays for Toulon in the French Top 14, makes a welcome return to the national squad after injury ruled him out of Wales' mid-year Test series against the All Blacks. While his inclusion will add variety to the Welsh attack, it is Halfpenny's accurate kicking boot that will particularly boost Wales especially against South Africa and Australia.

Along with Halfpenny, six other players who didn't feature on the tour of New Zealand, have been recalled: Alex Cuthbert, Dan Lydiate, Rhys Gill, Scott Andrews, Nicky Smith and Dan Baker.

Stand-in head coach Rob Howley also included uncapped Ospreys duo Sam Davies and Rory Thornton in the group, while flank Sam Warburton will resume the captaincy duties. The inclusion of Davies, who won the 2013 World Junior Player of the Year Award, means there is no place for Rhys Priestland in the squad.

'It is great to give the opportunity to players who are playing well for their clubs with the likes of Nicky Smith, Rhys Gill, Rory Thornton and Sam Davies coming into the squad. In addition, it’s great to be able to welcome back experienced players such as Dan Lydiate, Alex Cuthbert and Leigh Halfpenny, who have missed out recently with injury. Their experience will be important this autumn. We know we have to replicate the accuracy and intensity our opponents will bring to Cardiff,' said Howley.

The squad will convene on 24 October to start preparing for their four Tests.

Wales squad:

Forwards – Scott Andrews, Tomas Francis, Rhys Gill, Gethin Jenkins, Samson Lee, Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Kristian Dacey, Ken Owens, Jake Ball, Luke Charteris, Bradley Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Rory Thornton, Dan Baker, Taulupe Faletau, James King, Dan Lydiate, Ross Moriarty, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton (c).

Backs – Gareth Davies, Rhys Webb, Lloyd Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Sam Davies, Jonathan Davies, Tyler Morgan, Jamie Roberts, Scott Williams, Hallam Amos, Alex Cuthbert, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Liam Williams.

Photo: Michael Steele/Getty Images

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