Wales include Halfpenny in 33-man squad for Rugby World Cup

Jac Morgan and Dewi Lake will co-captain Wales at the World Cup after forward pair are picked by Warren Gatland to lead his side in France… as centurion Leigh Halfpenny makes the cut for 33-man squad

  •  Jac Morgan and Dewi Lake will be co-captains for Wales at the World Cup
  •  Warren Gatland has also selected Leigh Halfpenny in his 33-man squad
  •  Wales get their tournament underway against Fiji on September 10

Jac Morgan and Dewi Lake have been named as Wales co-captains for the World Cup after Warren Gatland confirmed his 33-man squad for the tournament – one which includes Leigh Halfpenny.

After senior figures and former skippers Alun Wyn Jones, Ken Owens and Justin Tipuric were all ruled out of travelling to France earlier this summer, head coach Gatland had a dilemma over who to choose as leader.

After captaining in two of his country’s three warm-up games, Morgan quickly became the overwhelming favourite to take on the role. Lake captained in the other.

The choice of Morgan and Lake as co-captains was confirmed on Monday morning by Gatland, who surprisingly only named two specialist scrum-halves in Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies.

Experienced campaigners Taulupe Faletau and Gareth Anscombe have also been included despite not having played this summer due to calf and thumb injuries.

Jac Morgan will be co-captain for Wales at the World Cup alongside Dewi Lake

Warren Gatland is preparing to lead Wales at a fourth Rugby World Cup

Leigh Halfpenny will be looking to add to his 100 Wales caps at the World Cup in France

Rookie forwards Taine Basham and Christ Tshiunza have also been named.

‘The toughest part of the job is always selection and this is particularly the case when it comes to picking a Rugby World Cup squad,’ said Gatland.

‘Over the past three months, the whole group of 48 players in the wider training squad has been outstanding in terms of attitude and effort, so having to reduce the squad down to the final 33 has been really hard and there have been some close final decisions in the last 36 hours.

‘But we can only take 33 players and we think those we have selected offer a good combination in terms of talent and experience.

‘We have a few more training sessions here in Wales before we depart for France on September 3 and we cannot wait to get out there and get started in this tournament.

‘We look forward to what lies ahead for this group.

Wales 2023 World Cup squad

Forwards (19)

Taine Basham, Adam Beard, Elliot Dee, Corey Domachowski, Ryan Elias, Taulupe Faletau, Tomas, Francis, Dafydd Jenkins, Dewi Lake, Dillon Lewis, Dan Lydiate, Jac Morgan (capt), Tommy Reffell, Will Rowlands, Nicky Smith, Gareth Thomas, Henry Thomas, Christ Tshiunza, Aaron Wainwright

Backs (14)

Josh Adams, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Sam Costlow, Gareth Davies, Rio Dyer, Mason Grady, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Louis Rees-Zammit, Nick Tompkins, Johnny Williams, Liam Williams, Tomos Williams

‘This will be a very proud moment for these players, their families and friends and I’d like to congratulate them all on the achievement.’

Lake, Dafydd Jenkins and Ryan Elias – who have all been nursing knocks – will travel to France regardless. Halfpenny is joined by another veteran in flanker Dan Lydiate.

There is no place for new Wales face Taine Plumtree or wing Alex Cuthbert.

Wales open up their World Cup campaign against Fiji in Bordeaux on September 10.

Source: Read Full Article