Dan Biggar retains Wales captaincy for SA tour, despite Alun Wyn Jones attending
Dan Biggar. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
- Wales manager Wayne Pivac has named a 33-man squad for their next three-Test series against the Springboks.
- Flyhalf Dan Biggar retains the captaincy despite the presence of veteran lock Alun Wyn Jones.
- The three tests will be played in Pretoria (July 2), Bloemfontein (July 9) and Cape Town (July 16).
Wales coach Wayne Pivac named a 33-man squad for a three-test series against the Springboks in July.
Opening half Dan Biggar retains the captaincy despite the veteran Alun Wyn Jones also part of the team. Biggar captained Wales in the Six Nations during Jones’ absence.
“Dan Bigger is made captain. We obviously have great leadership in the group with Alun Wyn and Dan. Dan did well in the Six Nations and Al came back from a pretty big layoff,” Pivac said in a statement. .
“He’s had a bit of rugby and we want him to hit his straps as a second line and be the best player he can be and focus on the game. He’ll lead naturally anyway, but he’s certainly looking forward to picking this up. challenge.”
Attackers: Rhys Carré, Wyn Jones, Gareth Thomas, Ryan Elias, Dewi Lake, Sam Parry, Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Dillon Lewis, Adam Beard, Ben Carter, Alun Wyn Jones, Will Rowlands, Taine Basham, Taulupe Faletau, Dan Lydiate, Josh Navidi, James Ratti, Tommy Refell
Back : Gareth Davies, Kieran Hardy, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar (captain), Rhys Patchell, George North, Nick Tompkins, Owen Watkin, Johnny Williams, Josh Adams, Alex Cuthbert, Louis Rees-Zammit, Liam Williams
Elsewhere, George North and Dan Lydiate return for international duty after long spells out with injury. Joining them in the Wales side are Ospreys team-mate Sam Parry, while Scarlets duo Johnny Williams and Rhys Patchell are also named.
There are two uncapped players in the Wales squad, namely Cardiff Rugby’s James Ratti and Leicester Tigers’ Tommy Refell.
Pivac added: “We’ve had players come back from injury like George North, so that’s exciting for the team. Some players have been ruled out through injury, so naturally there will be some change there. Then we looked at player form, who we play, where we play – we have two games at altitude – and what our game plan will be when considering the selection.
“I spoke to Tommy Reffell before announcing the squad for the Six Nations. We looked at Tommy carefully and decided to leave him out. He’s played really well since then, he’s been very consistent – one one of the most consistent players in the English Premiership so we think he deserves an opportunity and he will be well tested on this tour.”
The first test is scheduled for Saturday July 2 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, ahead of tests in Bloemfontein (July 9) and Cape Town (July 16)
“This three-Test series is going to be a challenge. It always has been, history shows that and that’s certainly what we’re looking to achieve – to get a win there, if not two, and win a series. The first two tests at altitude are going to be a challenge so first and foremost we need to do a lot of preparation here in Wales before we go and make sure we are in the best possible shape to perform well,” added Pivac.