Jamie Roberts to lead Wales for June Tests against Tonga and Samoa

Jamie Roberts
Jamie Roberts has won 91 Wales caps and three more for the Lions

Wales have named Harlequins centre Jamie Roberts to lead a 32-man squad containing 13 uncapped players on their summer tour.

Roberts, 30, has been capped 91 times but dropped out of first-choice favour with Wales in 2016-17.

They face Tonga in Auckland on 16 June and Samoa in Apia a week later.

Wales will be missing 12 leading players - including captain Alun Wyn Jones - who will tour with the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand.

With Warren Gatland as Lions boss and Rob Howley an assistant, regular forwards coach Robin McBryde will be in charge of Wales for the two Tests.

The uncapped forwards who could face Tonga and Samoa are Seb Davies, Adam Beard, Ryan Elias, Ollie Griffiths, Wyn Jones, Rory Thornton and Thomas Young.

The uncapped backs are Aled Davies, Keelan Giles, Owen Williams, Rhun Williams and Tomos Williams.

There are no places for scrum-half Lloyd Williams, fly-half Rhys Patchell or flanker James Davies but Josh Navidi and Gareth Anscombe are recalled.

Wales are also without injured prop Gethin Jenkins and lock Luke Charteris.

Roberts 'immensely honoured' at captaincy

With Jonathan Davies heading to New Zealand with the Lions, 2009 and 2013 Lions tourist Roberts has a chance to shine in midfield and as tour leader.

Roberts admitted his "disappointment" at missing out on Lions selection, but was "immensely honoured" to be asked to lead Wales.

"I'm as disappointed as any player to miss out on it (Lions), but you mope around for about a day, dust yourself off and you get back to training hard and playing and trying to play your best and that motivation will always be there.

"But the focus now is on Wales, winning two games and best preparing this group as much as possible."

Roberts added: "It's a proud moment for myself, but more importantly my family and a position of responsibility that I will take huge pride in."

Cardiff Blues' Seb Davies and Beard and Thornton, of Ospreys are locks, Scarlets' Elias is a hooker and team-mate Wyn Jones a prop.

Young, of Wasps, and Newport Gwent Dragons' Griffiths are open-side flankers who will battle to fill the void left by Lions captain Sam Warburton and Justin Tipuric.

Tomos Williams, of Blues and Scarlets' Aled Davies will challenge another Scarlet, Gareth Davies, at scrum-half.

Leicester's Gloucester-bound Owen Williams can play fly-half and centre while wing Giles, of Ospreys, and Blues' Rhun Williams will vie for back-three spots.

Where and when do Wales play?

Wales will face Tonga at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday, 16 June as part of a double-header also featuring New Zealand.

Wales explained in March that the contest had been moved to Auckland due to concerns over playing conditions.

The tourists will face Tonga at 06:30 BST, with the All Blacks taking on Samoa at 09:00 at the same venue.

The double-header will also provide Wales with an opportunity to observe the second opponents of their two-Test tour, with McBryde's men flying to Apia, Samoa to take on Samoa a week later on Friday, 23 June.

Wales 2017 summer tour squad

Forwards: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Ollie Griffiths (Newport Gwent Dragons), Cory Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons), Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), James King (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Rory Thornton (Ospreys), Thomas Young (Wasps).

Backs: Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Aled Davies (Scarlets), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Sam Davies (Ospreys), Steff Evans (Scarlets), Keelan Giles (Ospreys), Tyler Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons), Jamie Roberts (captain, Harlequins), Owen Williams (Leicester Tigers), Rhun Williams (Cardiff Blues), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues).

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