Andy Powell and Jonathan Thomas return to Wales squad

2011 RWC warm-up match: England v Wales

Venue:
Twickenham
Date:
Saturday, 6 August
Kick-off:
1430 BST
Coverage:
Live commentary on BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru; highlights on BBC Sport website and on BBC Three (Saturday 1900-2000 BST) and on BBC Two (Sunday 1100-1200 BST)
Jonathan Thomas and Andy Powell
Jonathan Thomas and Andy Powell are two experienced Wales back-row players

Andy Powell and Jonathan Thomas have been included in a 39-man Wales squad to face England at Twickenham on Saturday, 6 August.

The back-rowers were discarded from the party of 35 players who recently travelled to Poland for the second of two intensive training camps.

Blues prop Scott Andrews and Scarlets hooker Ken Owens, who also missed the trip to Spala, return as well.

Dwayne Peel is again unavailable, but could join the squad on 4 August.

The Sale Sharks scrum-half has been unable to join up with the rest of the players because English clubs have refused to release any Welsh player outside the designated International Rugby Board window.

But IRB rules state that all players must be released for national squad training and matches "at least 35 days before" the opening match of the 2011 World Cup.

English players have been released to the England squad under the terms of the agreement between the clubs and the Rugby Football Union.

The Welsh regions have a similar agreement with the Welsh Rugby Union.

Of the 35 players who trained at an Olympic facility in Poland for 10 days, only Scarlets flanker Rob McCusker will be unavaible for selcetion to face England. McCusker is struggling with a back problem.

Coach Warren Gatland will name the side on Thursday, 4 August for the first of three warm-up matches.

"The team to face England at Twickenham will be selected from this training squad," said Gatland.

"We have established a nucleus of players who will form our RWC squad based on their performances in training over recent weeks, but it is now time to translate those efforts onto the field.

"The players have worked hard, but places in that final World Cup squad are still very much up for grabs and a lot will depend on what we see over the course of these next three games."

After facing England at Twickenham, Wales will welcome Martin Johnson's side to the Millennium Stadium on 13 August, before ending their warm-up schedule by hosting Argentina in Cardiff seven days later.

"We have not shied away from facing the top quality opposition in preparation for this World Cup and it doesn't come much tougher than facing the 2003 World Cup winners and 2007 finalists on their home patch," added Gatland.

"The warm-up fixtures will be tough, but we are in a really tough group at the World Cup and replicating those conditions can, ultimately, only be of benefit to us."

Gatland must name his 30-man squad for September's World Cup in New Zealand by 22 August.

Wales open their campaign against defending champions South Africa on 11 September. The tournament begins with hosts New Zealand facing Tonga two days earlier.

Wales squad to face England on Saturday, 6 August (kick-off: 1430 BST):

Forwards: Scott Andrews, Gethin Jenkins (Blues), Lloyd Burns (Dragons), Huw Bennett, Ryan Bevington, Adam Jones, Paul James (Ospreys), Ken Owens, Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Craig Mitchell (Exeter Chiefs), Bradley Davies, Sam Warburton, Martyn Williams (Blues), Luke Charteris, Danny Lydiate, Toby Faletau (Dragons), Ryan Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Jonathan Thomas, Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull, (Scarlets), Gareth Delve (Melbourne Rebels), Andy Powell (Sale Sharks)

Backs: Michael Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Blues), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Blues), James Hook (Perpignan) Jonathan Davies, Stephen Jones, Rhys Priestland, Scott Williams (Scarlets) Gavin Henson (unattached), Leigh Halfpenny (Blues), Lee Byrne (Clermont Auvergne), Aled Brew (Dragons), Shane Williams (Ospreys), George North, Morgan Stoddart (Scarlets).

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