Wales: No Adam Jones and James Hook in autumn squad

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Wales coach Warren Gatland drops Adam Jones and James Hook

Veteran prop Adam Jones and Gloucester back James Hook have been left out of Wales' squad for the autumn Tests.

Young Ospreys prop Nicky Smith, 20, is the only uncapped player selected but Bristol lock Ian Evans, 30, and Ospreys wing Eli Walker, 22, miss out.

"Nicky Smith has been playing exceptionally well for Ospreys," said Wales coach Warren Gatland. "We are really happy with the squad."

Wales play Australia, Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa in November.

British and Irish Lion Jones, 33, won the most recent of his 95 caps in Wales' 38-16 defeat by South Africa in June.

Hook, 29, moved to Gloucester to prove his worth at fly-half but has struggled to break into Wales' starting XV, and Gatland explained: "It's always a risk if you're playing outside of Wales."

But the New Zealander added: "The door's not closed for Adam Jones or James Hook going forward."

Walker, who was denied his international debut last year due to a hamstring injury, has not been included as Ospreys continue to monitor his fitness.

Former Wales Under-20 front-rower Smith, who has started all seven of Ospreys' games this season, is joined in the squad by team-mate Scott Baldwin, 26.

Wales' autumn Tests
Saturday, 8 November: v Australia (14:30 BST)
Saturday, 15 November: v Fiji (14:30 BST)
Saturday, 22 November: v New Zealand (17:30 BST)
Saturday, 29 November: v South Africa (14:30 BST)
All games to be played at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Gatland has been boosted by the return of 12 internationals who missed the summer tour to South Africa, where Wales almost recorded a famous victory.

"There is a lot of experience that has come back in," he said. "We have a couple of exciting youngsters as well.

"We've had to weigh up a balance of players who play in Wales and outside, due to how often they can train and are with us."

Gloucester hooker Richard Hibbard and Scarlets number two Emyr Phillips, who both missed the two Tests against the Springboks, return to the pack alongside Blues loose-head Gethin Jenkins and Bath prop Paul James.

Bradley Davies, 27, returns from injury to be named alongside Scarlets lock Jake Ball, and British and Irish Lions duo Alun Wyn Jones and Luke Charteris.

Ospreys number eight Dan Baker, 22, has also been named in the squad after the region confirmed he did not suffer a serious neck injury in the European Rugby Cup win over Treviso.

Sam Warburton missed the tour to South Africa with a shoulder injury but the Cardiff Blues flanker returns as captain.

Ospreys pair Justin Tipuric and James King have also recovered from injuries and complete the back row with Dan Lydiate and Taulupe Faletau.

British and Irish Lions Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies, Alex Cuthbert, George North and Leigh Halfpenny are named in the backs.

They are joined by Scarlets duo Scott Williams and Liam Williams, Cardiff Blues centre Cory Allen and Dragons pair Hallam Amos and Tom Prydie.

Wales have been drawn against Australia and England in a tough 2015 Rugby World Cup pool and Gatland says the November Tests will be valuable preparation.

"Our whole planning and preparation is about the World Cup," said the Kiwi.

"The analogy that we'll be drawing with the players is selling the World Cup as the Olympics.

"While the rugby is important, there are a lot of other things that we want to be putting in place during the autumn."

Wales are without hooker Ken Owens after the Scarlets captain, 27, underwent neck surgery in September.

Scarlets scrum-half Gareth Davies also misses out after being ruled out for 12 weeks with a knee injury.

WALES SQUAD

Forwards:

Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Paul James (Bath), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Richard Hibbard (Gloucester), Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Luke Charteris (Racing Metro), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), James King (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Dan Baker (Ospreys), Taulupe Faletau (Dragons).

Backs:

Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), James Roberts (Racing Metro), Jonathan Davies (ASM Clermont Auvergne), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Hallam Amos (Dragons), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton Saints), Tom Prydie (Dragons), Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

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