Gatland challenges new Wales Six Nations call-ups to seize their chance
New Zealander has selected his pool of Wales players for the forthcoming northern hemisphere tournament.
Wales boss Warren Gatland has described Josh Adams’ NatWest 6 Nations squad call-up as “a great opportunity” for the Worcester wing.
Swansea-born Adams and Scarlets flanker James Davies are the two uncapped players named by the Welsh Rugby Union in a 39-man group.
Adams, 22, is currently the top try-scorer in this season’s Aviva Premiership with nine touchdowns, and he was recently watched at Sixways by Wales assistant coach Rob Howley.
“For Josh, it’s a great opportunity,” Wales head coach Gatland said.
“He’s been on great form, and the back three is somewhere we are looking to create depth in.”
Davies, meanwhile, is rewarded for consistently impressive form in Scarlets colours.
Davies, brother of Wales and British and Irish Lions centre Jonathan Davies, was part of Great Britain’s rugby sevens medal-winning squad at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“It is an exciting opportunity for the two new caps,” Gatland added.
“James’ form over the last couple of years has been impressive. He is in a competitive area, but we look forward to seeing what he can do.”
The squad also includes the likes of Northampton wing George North and Bath number eight Taulupe Faletau, who are both currently sidelined through injury.
Gloucester back-row forward Ross Moriarty, who has played just two games this season following a long injury absence, is also selected along with Bath fly-half Rhys Priestland, who currently has a hamstring problem.
Cardiff Blues prop Dillon Lewis, who made his Test debut during last year’s summer tour, is included, and experienced Ospreys forwards Scott Baldwin and Bradley Davies are both recalled.
There are no places, though, for Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts or Bath lock Luke Charteris.
“With Taulupe (Faletau), we are hoping he will be available towards the end of the campaign, and Rhys (Priestland) picked up a knock at the weekend, so we will see where he is at,” Gatland said.
“It’s useful to have these experienced guys around camp and to have them included and to work with them.”
Wales kick off their Six Nations campaign against Scotland in Cardiff on February 3.