Six Nations 2014: Wales include injury worry prop Gethin Jenkins
Six Nations Championship 2014
- Dates: 1 February-15 March
Coverage: All matches live on BBC TV, radio and BBC Sport website
Gethin Jenkins has been included in a 32-man Wales squad for the Six Nations despite concerns over his damaged knee.
The 33-year-old prop had a scan on Monday after he was injured in Cardiff Blues' Heineken Cup defeat by Toulon.
Warren Gatland Wales coach
“We have got an opportunity to create history and that is something we will focus on”
Dan Biggar of the Ospreys and Scarlets star Rhys Priestland look set to contest the fly-half spot, although Perpignan's James Hook is also picked.
Sam Warburton continues as captain and is expected to return "in a couple of weeks" from his shoulder injury.
Wales coach Warren Gatland is back in full-time charge following his sabbatical to coach the British and Irish Lions to a memorable series win in Australia in 2013.
The New Zealander's target is for Wales to successfully defend their Six Nations crown and become the first side to win the title outright three years in succession.
Wales begin their campaign at home to Italy on 1 February, before travelling to Ireland the following weekend.
Gatland's men then face France at the Millennium Stadium on 21 February in a Friday night match, before rounding off their campaign in March away to England and then against Scotland in Cardiff.
"Last year was a fantastic year and I'm really excited to be back involved and this year is going to be a big challenge for us," said Gatland.
"We have got an opportunity to create history and that is something we will focus on and something that will give us extra motivation.
"We have got the three games at home and two tough away games but when we won the Grand Slam in 2008 and 2012 we had these fixtures so we know it can be done.
"The Six Nations is always a tough competition. You need a little bit of luck and momentum. That's why we need to start well against Italy.
"Talking to the coaches, we were a little bit slow starting last year and we know we need to start well on 1 February. We've picked a pretty experienced squad and kept it fairly tight at this stage."
Wales' Six Nations fixtures
- 1 Feb: Italy (H)
- 8 Feb: Ireland (A)
- 21 Feb: France (H)
- 9 March: England (A)
- 15 March: Scotland (H)
Wales lost their opening game last year, beaten 30-22 at home by Ireland, before winning their remaining four matches to take the title.
Wales will be without Lions centre Jonathan Davies for most of the tournament because of a shoulder injury, although the Scarlet is still named in the squad.
But fellow centre Jamie Roberts has given Wales a boost, with club Racing Metro announcing he could be fit to play on Sunday, 19 January.
The Paris-based team expect Roberts to play at Clermont Auvergne in the Heineken Cup that day, a fortnight before Wales play Italy.
The front-row players in the squad feature three Lions in Jenkins, Richard Hibbard and Adam Jones, alongside Ken Owen, Emyr Phillips, Rhodri Jones, Samson Lee, Paul James and Ryan Bevington.
The second-row options include Andrew Coombs, Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans and Luke Charteris, while Warburton heads a talented back-row line-up of Justin Tipuric, Ryan Jones, Toby Faletau, Dan Lydiate and Aaron Shingler.
Scarlets scrum-half Rhodri Williams, who made his Test debut in the autumn, is named along with Rhys Webb and Mike Phillips.
Alex Cuthbert, George North, Leigh Halfpenny, Scott Williams and Liam Williams complete a 13-strong back division.
Wales squad for 2014 RBS Six Nations:
Forwards: Paul James (Bath), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Andrew Coombs (Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Sam Warburton Capt (Cardiff Blues), Toby Faletau (Dragons), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets)
Backs: Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), James Hook (Perpignan), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton Saints), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets).