Wales: Lock Bradley Davies leads tour to Japan

Bradley Davies

Cardiff Blues lock Bradley Davies will lead a squad including nine uncapped players on Wales' June tour to Japan.

Blues fly-half Rhys Patchell joins team-mate Owen Williams, Osprey Dafydd Howells, 18, and Scarlets-bound Steven Shingler among the uncapped backs.

Caretaker coach Robin McBryde has named five uncapped forwards, including hookers Emyr Phillips and Scott Baldwin.

Andries Pretorius, James King and Dan Baker complete the uncapped forwards.

And with Scarlets Aaron Shingler and Rob McCusker making up five back-row picks and uncapped Blue Josh Navidi omitted, Wales have no specialist open-side.

The British and Irish Lions party heading to Australia this summer includes 15 leading Wales players.

However, experienced players such as versatile back-five forward Ryan Jones and hooker Matthew Rees were overlooked for the Lions tour and

Davies, 26, and with 38 caps, missed Wales' 2013 Six Nations success because of an ankle ligament injury and returns in the absence of Lions tour locks Alun Wyn Jones and Ian Evans.

McBryde lost three established national squad members to injury ahead of the squad announcement. Scarlets hooker Ken Owens (neck), centre Scott Williams (shoulder) and fly-half Rhys Priestland (Achilles) were all ruled out.

Patchell, 20, who has impressed in his debut Blues season, covers Priestland's absence.

Owens' fellow Scarlet Phillips, 26, and Osprey Baldwin, 24, will battle for the hooking berth.

Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Owen Williams (Blues) and Jonathan Spratt (Ospreys) will attempt to plug the gap left by the withdrawal of Scarlet Scott Williams.

Ospreys wing Howells, 18, has mainly played for Welsh Premiership side Neath.

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Likewise, number eight Dan Baker's regular Swansea appearances in Welsh rugby's second tier coupled with his Ospreys development gives him a place in the back-row pool.

South Africa-born back-row Pretorius is eligible after completing three years residency in Wales.

21, who can play fly-half, centre and full-back, joins back-row brother Aaron in the Wales squad.

He is included a year after the International Rugby Board ruled

There is a recall for Newport Gwent Dragon Tom Prydie, who became Wales' youngest Test player in March 2010 aged 18 years and 25 days, but who made the last of his four Wales appearance three months later on tour to New Zealand.

Wales face Japan in Osaka on Saturday, 8 June and again seven days later in Tokyo.

Wales squad:

Forwards: Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Rhys Gill (Saracens), Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Scott Andrews (Blues), Craig Mitchell (Exeter Chiefs), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Blues), Lou Reed (Blues), Andrew Coombs (Dragons), James King (Ospreys), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Dan Baker (Ospreys), Rob McCusker (Scarlets), Andries Pretorius (Blues).

Backs: Lloyd Williams (Blues), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Patchell (Blues), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Owen Williams (Blues), Jonathan Spratt (Ospreys), Dafydd Howells (Ospreys), Liam Williams (Scarlets), Harry Robinson (Blues), Tom Prydie (Dragons), Steven Shingler (London Irish).


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