Wales call for Coombs

South Wales Argus: Wales call for Coombs Wales call for Coombs

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs has been named in Wales' squad for the Six Nations.

The 28-year-old is one of five uncapped players in their 35-man squad along with Ospreys wing Eli Walker, Ospreys lock James King, and Cardiff Blues backrowers Josh Navidi and Andries Pretorius.

Coombs' selection is a story to rival that of Lloyd Burns, the Dragons hooker who went from being a bricklayer playing with Cross Keys to representing Wales in a World Cup.

Like Burns, Coombs earned a professional contract in 2010 after impressing in the Premiership where he captained Newport from number eight.

He made a mark at regional level with a number of abrasive performances in the back row and then shone when injuries forced the Dragons to play him as an emergency lock.

Coombs suffered a knee injury on the opening day of the season and made his return in the Amlin Challenge Cup in December.

He hit the ground running and his fiesty performances in the festive derbies have earned him an international call.

Wales have been particularly badly hit in the second-row department, with Alun-Wyn Jones, Luke Charteris and Bradley Davies currently unavailable to interim head coach Rob Howley and not named in his initial Six Nations squad.

Fly-half Rhys Priestland and prop Aaron Jarvis, meanwhile, are also injury absentees as Wales build towards the opening game of their Six Nations title defence against Ireland on February 2.

There are recalls for Clermont Auvergne full-back Lee Byrne, who has not featured in a Wales matchday 23 since the 2011 World Cup, and Exeter prop Craig Mitchell.

Star prop Adam Jones also returns after missing the entire autumn Test series this season because of injury and Howley will hope that some of his other injured contingent, including Dragons flanker Dan Lydiate, can play some part in the tournament.

Former Wales captain Ryan Jones is also named in the squad, although his participation against Ireland and then France seven days later is currently doubtful due to a dislocated thumb injury.

Pretorius apart, there are few surprises with the uncapped contingent.

Walker and Australia-born King have both been in outstanding form for the Ospreys, as has Coombs in Dragons colours and former Wales Under-20 captain Navidi for the Blues.

King has English parents, but he was initially brought up in north Wales and played for Mold Rugby Club.

Howley said: "We have put together a very experienced squad and complimented that by rewarding the in-form players with a call-up.

"The players in the squad have been playing really well, and we have been pleased with their individual performances.

"We have a group of players who know how to win big matches and have experienced success. We are adding to that players who have stood out and performed well for the regions this season."

Wales squad for the RBS 6 Nations Championship.

Backs: L Byrne (Clermont Auvergne), Liam Williams (Scarlets), L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), E Walker (Ospreys), G North (Scarlets), A Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Scarlets), J Roberts (Cardiff Blues), J Davies (Scarlets), J Hook (Perpignan), D Biggar (Ospreys), M Phillips (Bayonne), T Knoyle (Scarlets), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues).

Forwards: S Andrews (Cardiff Blues), C Mitchell (Exeter), A Jones (Ospreys) P James (Bath), G Jenkins (Toulon), R Bevington (Ospreys), R Hibbard (Ospreys), K Owens (Scarlets), M Rees (Scarlets), R Jones (Ospreys) L Reed (Blues), I Evans (Ospreys), J King (Ospreys), A Coombs (Newport Gwent Dragons), J Turnbull (Scarlets), J Navidi (Cardiff Blues), A Shingler (Scarlets), J Tipuric (Ospreys), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt) T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), A Pretorius (Cardiff Blues).

Comments (12)

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11:19am Tue 15 Jan 13

Dai the Milk says...

Congratulations Andrew. Why shouldn't you go the whole way?
Congratulations Andrew. Why shouldn't you go the whole way? Dai the Milk
  • Score: 0

1:35pm Tue 15 Jan 13

kalwales@hotmail.com says...

OMG this really cant be true
OMG this really cant be true kalwales@hotmail.com
  • Score: 0

2:49pm Tue 15 Jan 13

gaven21 says...

Well I am sorry but not as good by far as Adam Jones or Lewis Evens
Well I am sorry but not as good by far as Adam Jones or Lewis Evens gaven21
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Tue 15 Jan 13

rhinestine says...

Bring back Kevin Mosley and Andy Allen......... real second rowers!! :)))
Bring back Kevin Mosley and Andy Allen......... real second rowers!! :))) rhinestine
  • Score: 0

5:55pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Robert Shillabeer says...

Dai the Milk wrote:
Congratulations Andrew. Why shouldn't you go the whole way?
True Dai why not he has a chance to reach the pinnacle of his career. There are several posts on this site that don't give any credit. But, there are some ( you and I) who give credit where it is due. Andrew has done well over the last two years to warrant praise. Hope he does make it onto the field but recognition of where he is is a big boost in his arm. Go and play well Andrew.
[quote][p][bold]Dai the Milk[/bold] wrote: Congratulations Andrew. Why shouldn't you go the whole way?[/p][/quote]True Dai why not he has a chance to reach the pinnacle of his career. There are several posts on this site that don't give any credit. But, there are some ( you and I) who give credit where it is due. Andrew has done well over the last two years to warrant praise. Hope he does make it onto the field but recognition of where he is is a big boost in his arm. Go and play well Andrew. Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Euwan Usami says...

Best of luck to Andrew for sure. To be neutral for a moment it makes me wonder if it's a result of having only 4 top flight clubs in Wales and 4 injured first choice second rows but all the best anyway. I think the call up of Eli Walker is of far more interest though an big opportunity for him. He's on fire at the mo and could make a name for himself. He's the closest thing to a "Shanno replacement" if such a thing is possible. :)
Best of luck to Andrew for sure. To be neutral for a moment it makes me wonder if it's a result of having only 4 top flight clubs in Wales and 4 injured first choice second rows but all the best anyway. I think the call up of Eli Walker is of far more interest though an big opportunity for him. He's on fire at the mo and could make a name for himself. He's the closest thing to a "Shanno replacement" if such a thing is possible. :) Euwan Usami
  • Score: 0

7:09pm Tue 15 Jan 13

speakoutnow says...

Really pleased for him but how on earth is Lewis Evans left out for Turnbull and most especially Pretorious!
What message does this give home grown talent, esp after the way Lewis has played in the last four games?Picking in form players....don't think so!
Lost for words but not really surprised.
Really pleased for him but how on earth is Lewis Evans left out for Turnbull and most especially Pretorious! What message does this give home grown talent, esp after the way Lewis has played in the last four games?Picking in form players....don't think so! Lost for words but not really surprised. speakoutnow
  • Score: 0

7:57pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Dai the Milk says...

To the doubters, he can play anywhere in the back 5 so is a canny choice in the circumstances. I rate this man. He is a tough and honest player.
To the doubters, he can play anywhere in the back 5 so is a canny choice in the circumstances. I rate this man. He is a tough and honest player. Dai the Milk
  • Score: 0

9:29pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Keith Barnett says...

Absolutely agree speakoutnow, Evans is a real star in the making IF he keeps it up. He will do really well for Wales when he gets picked.
Problem is that Howley is definitely ONE eyed on selection
Absolutely agree speakoutnow, Evans is a real star in the making IF he keeps it up. He will do really well for Wales when he gets picked. Problem is that Howley is definitely ONE eyed on selection Keith Barnett
  • Score: 0

7:42am Wed 16 Jan 13

kalwales@hotmail.com says...

Tough, Honest Player?? dont make me laugh . . . (p.s) He may be able to play anywhere in back 5 but that is Regional Rugby NOT International !
Tough, Honest Player?? dont make me laugh . . . (p.s) He may be able to play anywhere in back 5 but that is Regional Rugby NOT International ! kalwales@hotmail.com
  • Score: 0

9:19am Wed 16 Jan 13

caswallon says...

Well done Andrew. great player and work horse.
Well done Andrew. great player and work horse. caswallon
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Dai the Milk says...

kalwales@hotmail.com wrote:
Tough, Honest Player?? dont make me laugh . . . (p.s) He may be able to play anywhere in back 5 but that is Regional Rugby NOT International !
Yep.......tough and honest. Very tough and very honest. He is also a modern union player who only goes to ground if essential.........un
like many who see it as a chance to have a rest.
[quote][p][bold]kalwales@hotmail.com[/bold] wrote: Tough, Honest Player?? dont make me laugh . . . (p.s) He may be able to play anywhere in back 5 but that is Regional Rugby NOT International ![/p][/quote]Yep.......tough and honest. Very tough and very honest. He is also a modern union player who only goes to ground if essential.........un like many who see it as a chance to have a rest. Dai the Milk
  • Score: 0

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