Wales call in the cavalry

Sam Warburton and Leigh Halfpenny have been selected in Wales' 34-man squad for the November Tests.

The captain and fullback both missed the June Tests in South Africa, and will return to the international fold along with a number of first-choice players.

However, there was no place for veteran tighthead Adam Jones, who finds himself in the international wilderness for the first time in nearly a decade. Jones, who has been capped 95 times for Wales, featured in the first Test against the Springboks in June, before being left out of the squad for the second match in Nelspruit.

Another player to miss out was James Hook, with Dan Biggar and Rhys Priestland the preferred flyhalf options.

'We are really happy with the squad,' said coach Warren Gatland. 'There is a lot of experience that has come back in, 12 players who were injured in the summer and didn’t tour South Africa, they are back and fit and we have a couple of exciting youngsters as well.'

'We’ve had to weigh up a balance of players who play in Wales and outside, due to how often they can train and are with us but we are really happy with the squad. We are looking to the future and the next 12 months ahead with this squad but it doesn’t close the door for anyone not selected.'

Wales will begin a tough month of Tests against Australia on 8 November, before facing Fiji and New Zealand in successive weeks.

They will close out their calendar with a Test against the Boks on 29 November. As the match at Millenium Stadium falls outside of the IRB window, Heyneke Meyer won't be able to select any of his overseas-based players.

Wales squad:

Forwards – Gethin Jenkins, Paul James, Nicky Smith, Richard Hibbard, Emyr Phillips, Scott Baldwin, Aaron Jarvis, Samson Lee, Rhodri Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Jake Ball, Bradley Davies, Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate, James King, Sam Warburton (c), Justin Tipuric, Dan Baker, Taulupe Faletau.

Backs – Mike Phillips, Rhys Webb, Rhodri Williams, Dan Biggar, Rhys Priestland, Cory Allen, James Roberts, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Hallam Amos, Alex Cuthbert, George North, Tom Prydie, Leigh Halfpenny, Liam Williams.

Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images