FIVE Dragons have been named in Warren Gatland’s 36-man Wales squad for this summer’s matches against South Africa and Australia, writes Andrew Penman.

Elliot Dee, Ben Carter, Matthew Screech, Aaron Wainwright and Rio Dyer have made the cut for the clash with South Africa at Twickenham on June 22, before the squad travels Down Under on June 26 for two tests against the Wallabies and a fixture against Queensland Reds in July.

An updated squad of 34 players who will travel to Australia will be confirmed following the Springboks encounter.

Four uncapped players are selected among the 22 forwards and 15 backs named: Cardiff Rugby’s Ellis Bevan (scrum half) and Jacob Beetham (full back), as well as wingers Keelan Giles (Ospreys) and Josh Hathaway (Gloucester Rugby).

Carter, Dewi Lake, Jac Morgan, Taine Plumtree and Christ Tshiunza return for Wales having missed the Guinness Six Nations due to injury.

There are also recalls for hooker Sam Parry, tighthead prop Henry Thomas, second rows Cory Hill and Screech and back-three Liam Williams, in a Wales squad that has an average age of 25.

South Wales Argus: Rio Dyer is one of five Dragons to make the Wales squad for the summer tests. Rio Dyer is one of five Dragons to make the Wales squad for the summer tests. (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

A decision has been taken to give Josh Adams, Ryan Elias and Will Rowlands a break this summer, so they have not been selected in the squad.

Gatland said: “We’ve selected a bigger squad because we don’t have the English club-based players available for the South Africa match. So we will be reducing the squad from 36 to 34 players for Australia.

“I think everyone appreciates and realises we’re building towards 2027. There were moments during the Six Nations where we played some really good rugby and put the opposition teams under some pressure, but we probably weren’t accurate enough.

“It’s about playing for longer periods, putting halves together and putting an 80-minute performance together which ultimately gives you confidence and gives you that opportunity to win games.

“We need to build on that. We need to keep working hard. We’ve got some experience to come back into the squad and some exciting players which is good.

“The big focus for us is about our game management and to get better with that. But we also want to improve our collision dominance whether that’s attack or defence and create some more depth and competition within the squad.”

Regarding the captaincy, Gatland added: “When the squad comes in, we will look at a leadership group that is going to be important for us going forward. Then we’ll probably be looking to name a captain for the South Africa game and then name a captain for the tour.”


Wales squad:

Forwards – Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Rugby - 10 caps), Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets - 2 caps), Gareth Thomas (Ospreys - 30 caps), Elliot Dee (Dragons - 51 caps), Dewi Lake (Ospreys - 12 caps), Evan Lloyd (Cardiff Rugby - 2 caps), Sam Parry (Ospreys - 7 caps), Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Rugby - 6 caps), Archie Griffin (Bath Rugby - 1 cap), Dillon Lewis (Harlequins - 57 caps), Harri O'Connor (Scarlets - 1 cap), Henry Thomas (Castres Olympique - 4 caps), Ben Carter (Dragons - 11 caps), Cory Hill (Secom Rugguts - 32 caps), Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs - 17 caps), Matthew Screech (Dragons - 1 cap), Christ Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs - 10 caps), Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby - 3 caps), Jac Morgan (Ospreys - 15 caps), Taine Plumtree (Scarlets - 2 caps), Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers - 18 caps) Aaron Wainwright (Dragons - 48 caps);

Backs – Ellis Bevan (Cardiff Rugby – uncapped), Gareth Davies (Scarlets - 76 caps), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets - 21 caps), Sam Costelow (Scarlets - 12 caps), Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby - 11 caps), Ben Thomas (Cardiff Rugby - 2 caps), Nick Tompkins (Saracens - 36 caps), Owen Watkin (Ospreys - 38 caps), Rio Dyer (Dragons - 19 caps), Keelan Giles (Ospreys - uncapped), Josh Hathaway (Gloucester Rugby - uncapped), Liam Williams (Kubota Spears - 89 caps), Jacob Beetham (Cardiff Rugby - uncapped), Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby - 5 caps)