Morgan and Lake named co-captains as Wales reveal World Cup squad


Jac Morgan and Dewi Lake have been named as co-captains as Wales confirmed their 33-man squad for the Rugby World Cup.

The Ospreys pair will lead a squad of 19 forwards and 14 backs, which blends youth and experience in Warren Gatland’s fourth consecutive World Cup at the tiller.

Leigh Halfpenny and George North have received the call, going to their third and fourth World Cups respectively, while recent debutants, in wing Rio Dyer, centre Mason Grady and prop Corey Domachowski, also get the call.

Despite the pair not playing a warm-up game so far due to injury, Gatland has also called upon the experience of Taulupe Faletau and Gareth Anscombe, whilst Johnny Williams – who was recovering from testicular cancer during the last World Cup – and young Scarlets fly-half Sam Costelow go to the tournament for the first time.

Taine Plumtree, who played for New Zealand U20s and made his debut during the warm-up games, did not get the call, but Henry Thomas – who was born in England and played seven times for the Red Rose – does make the squad.

Gatland said: “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.

“Over the past three months the whole group of 48 players in the wider training squad have been outstanding in terms of attitude and effort, so having to reduce the squad down to the final 33 has been really hard.

“There have been some close final decisions in the last 36 hours.

“But we can only take 33 players and those we have selected we think 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.

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

On the appointment of his two co-captains, Gatland added: “They complement each other well. They are good mates as well.

“It is a good opportunity and something I have never done before. Both of them have a big future ahead of them.”

Morgan said: “There are loads of experienced players in the squad.

“There are plenty of leaders in the squad who say their opinion and get stuff going.

“Dewi is great as a captain. He captained the Under-20s. When something needs to be said, he will say it.

“I would never have thought this would have happened four years ago. It is great to be here with Dewi.”

Forwards: Taine Basham (Dragons), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Elliot Dee (Dragons), Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Rugby), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Taulupe Faletau (Cardiff Rugby), Tomas Francis (Provence Rugby), Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs), Dewi Lake (co-capt, Ospreys), Dillon Lewis (Harlequins), Dan Lydiate (Dragons), Jac Morgan (co-capt, Ospreys), Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers), Will Rowlands (Dragons), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Gareth Thomas (Ospreys), Henry Thomas (Montpellier), Christ Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons).

Backs: Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby), Gareth Anscombe (Tokyo Suntory Sungoliath), Dan Biggar (Toulon), Sam Costelow (Scarlets), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Rio Dyer (Dragons), Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby), Leigh Halfpenny (unattached), George North (Ospreys), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester), Nick Tompkins (Saracens), Johnny Williams (Scarlets), Liam Williams (Kubota Spears), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby).

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