Luke Charteris, Josh Adams, Tomas Francis and Josh Navidi will miss Wales’ Test against the Boks in Washington DC on 2 June.
Charteris (Bath), Adams (Worcester Warriors) and Francis (Exeter Chiefs) were initially named in Wales’ 31-man squad for the mid-year Tests. However, because the game against South Africa falls outside of the Test window (which runs between 9-24 June), Premiership Rugby – in its capacity as representative of English top-flight clubs – has opted not to release the trio.
As a result, coach Warren Gatland has dropped the trio for the entire tour, including the two Tests against Argentina. Ashton Hewitt, Rhodri Jones and Aaron Wainwright have been called up as their replacements.
The WRU also confirmed that Navidi has been ruled out of the tour after dislocating a shoulder in Cardiff Blues’ Challenge Cup final victory last weekend.
‘We are really disappointed that Josh, Tomas and Luke have to miss out on the opportunity to tour with Wales and play international rugby this summer,’ said Gatland.
‘It was a great opportunity for them to play for their country, press their claim in an important year and it is a shame supporters will not get to see them in the red of Wales.’
‘With the players unavailable to link up with the squad until the week of our second Test match we have had to replace them in the squad. The situation is very clear for players playing in England going forward and heading into a RWC year.’
Photo: Huw Evans Picture Agency