SIX Dragons forwards have been called up by Wales for the autumn series but there is disappointment for the Rodney Parade backs.

Hooker Elliot Dee, locks Will Rowlands and Ben Carter plus back row forwards Ross Moriarty, Taine Basham and Aaron Wainwright have got the call for the Tests against New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and Australia.

However, speedster Jonah Holmes is a surprise omission and there is no place for Sam Davies despite Wales’ problems at fly-half.

Promising centre Aneurin Owen, who was called up for the summer series, also misses out this time.

Rhodri Williams was recalled for the June internationals only to suffer a shoulder injury and he misses out to the established scrum-half trio of Gareth Davies, Kieran Hardy and Tomos Williams.

Tighthead Leon Brown, who played all three summer Tests, has no played so far this season because of injury and missed out.

Head coach Wayne Pivac has called up uncapped 19-year-old Exeter lock Christ Tshiunza and there is a recall for Wasps flanker Thomas Young, who has been cleared to play despite the 60-cap rule because he is signing for Cardiff.

There are welcome returns from serious injury for back rower Ellis Jenkins and fly-half Gareth Anscombe while Rhys Priestland is also back to be an option at 10.

South Wales Argus: BOSS: Wayne PivacBOSS: Wayne Pivac

"We understand that the opening game against the All Blacks is outside of the international window but I believe that we all need this game, after what has been a particularly difficult time for everyone because of the global pandemic," said Pivac.

"It will be fantastic to play in front of a capacity crowd once again, with a number of these players getting to experience that for the first time.

"This has been one of the most difficult selections I’ve had to make with less rugby than would have normally taken place ahead of a campaign in addition to injuries and player unavailability.

"When you look at selection you want to select in-form players but it’s fair to say that a number of players haven’t hit their top form. We have looked at past performances at this level, including a very successful Six Nations campaign, and we’ve cross-credit some of that information into current form if you like.

"Injuries in certain positions, particularly at openside, have forced us to look a little bit deeper than we would normally but what it does mean is that more players have an opportunity to be exposed to this level of rugby.

"This can only be a good thing as we continue our preparations for the 2023 World Cup.”

Wales kick off the series against New Zealand on October 30 with fixtures following against South Africa, Fiji and Australia at Principality Stadium.

The fixture against the All Blacks is outside World Rugby’s Test window so Pivac will be without his England-based players.

That is likely to lead to a sizeable Dragons contingent featuring in the opener, meaning they will be unavailable for the United Rugby Championship derby against Cardiff at the Arms Park on October 23.

The hosts in the capital could be without props Rhys Carre and Dillon Lewis, lock Seb Davies, flanker Jenkins, scrum-half Tomos Williams, fly-half Priestland, centres Uilisi Halaholo and Ben Thomas plus wings Owen Lane and Josh Adams.

Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (35 caps)
Rhodri Jones (Ospreys) (21 caps)
Rhys Carre (Cardiff Rugby) (13 caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (82 caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (40 caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (19 caps)
Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby) (31 caps)
WillGriff John (Scarlets) (Uncapped)
Tomas Francis (Ospreys) (57 caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (148 caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys) (25 caps)
Will Rowlands (Dragons) (10 caps)
Ben Carter (Dragons) (3 caps)
Seb Davies (Cardiff Rugby) (9 caps)
Christ Tshiunza* (Exeter Chiefs)  (Uncapped)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (48 caps)
Thomas Young* (Wasps) (3 caps)
Taine Basham (Dragons) (3 caps)
Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Rugby) (11 caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) 31 caps)
Taulupe Faletau* (Bath Rugby) (86 caps)

BACKS (17)
Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby) (25 caps)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (62 caps)
Kieran Hardy (Scarlets) (7 caps)
Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys) (27 caps)
Rhys Priestland (Cardiff Rugby) (50 caps)
Dan Biggar* (Northampton Saints) (92 caps)
Callum Sheedy* (Bristol Bears) (12 caps)
Johnny Williams (Scarlets) (3 caps)
Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (91 caps)
Nick Tompkins* (Saracens) (13 caps)
Uilisi Halaholo (Cardiff Rugby) (7 caps)
Ben Thomas (Cardiff Rugby) (1 cap)
Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby) (32 caps)
Owen Lane (Cardiff Rugby) (4 caps)
Louis Rees-Zammit* (Gloucester Rugby) (9 caps)
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) (5 caps)
Liam Williams (Scarlets) (71 caps)

*Unavailable for selection for New Zealand