Warren Gatland names three uncapped players for Wales

Scott Williams and Rhodri Williams

Warren Gatland has named three uncapped players in Wales' autumn 2013 squad.

They are Scarlets scrum-half Rhodri Williams, Cardiff Blues centre Cory Allen and Ospreys wing Eli Walker.

Perpignan utility back James Hook and lock team-mate Luke Charteris return along with Scarlets fly-half Rhys Priestland.

Jamie Roberts is injured and Alex Cuthbert is out after suffering a in the Blues' Heineken Cup win over Toulon at the weekend.

In-form Scarlet Scott Williams is tipped to fill that centre spot alongside Jonathan Davies while Walker's chances of a Test debut are boosted by British and Irish Lion Cuthbert's absence.

Blues centre Owen Williams and fly-half Rhys Patchell stay involved at senior level having been among a host of fresh faces who drew their June Test series in Japan 1-1.

Lions skipper Sam Warburton reclaims the Wales captaincy from fellow Blue Bradley Davies, who wore the armband in Japan.

Scarlets hooker Emyr Phillips also remains, having toured Japan.

Phillips' former Parc y Scarlets hooking rival, Matthew Rees, is out of contention as he is scheduled to undergo that has forced him to take time out from the game.

Exeter Chiefs tight-head prop Craig Mitchell's bicep injury and Saracens loose-head Rhys Gill is also absent as he awaits shoulder reconstruction surgery.

Ospreys tight-head prop Aaron Jarvis returns after recovering from a knee injury suffered during Wales' 2012 autumn series.

Walker was named in Wales' 2013 Six Nations squad, but injuries forced him out and he also missed the trip to Japan.

James Hook kicks a goal for Perpignan
James Hook kicks a goal for Perpignan

Blues centre Allen comes in after impressive early-season form, including a fine performance in their triumph over European champions Toulon.

An unexpected consideration for Gatland was Lions scrum-half Mike Phillips having to go in front of the Bayonne board on Tuesday to answer allegations that he attended a video analysis session while under the influence of alcohol.

If found guilty, the player could face a club suspension and fine, but that would not affect Phillips' Wales availability.

However, the emergence of former Wales Under-20 scrum-half Williams is a big plus.

The Ammanford product has won selection for Scarlets' Heineken Cup matches against Harlequins and Racing Metro ahead of two other promising number nines, Gareth Davies and Aled Davies.

Wales' series kicks off against South Africa on 9 November, continuing against Argentina on 16 November, Tonga the following Friday, and against Australia eight days later on 30 November.

Gatland said: "We have an important campaign ahead as we look to test ourselves against some of the best sides in the world but also add strength in depth to our squad as we look to the future.

"We face a huge game against South Africa first up and they will be coming to us after an impressive Rugby Championship campaign.

"Recent matches between us have been very close and physical and that will be a great test for us to kick-off.

"All four matches will be a stern test but we are looking forward to the challenge and looking forward to seeing what we can do on this stage.

"The Rugby World Cup is less than two years away, so we are looking to build as much depth in our squad as possible and to give vital international experience to our players."

South Africa announce their squad on Monday, 28 October.


Forwards: Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Emyr Phillips (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Andrew Coombs (Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (capt, Cardiff Blues), Toby Faletau (Dragons), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro).

Backs: Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Patchell (Cardiff Blues), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Jon Davies (Scarlets), Ashley Beck (Ospreys), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Owen Williams (Cardiff Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), George North (Northampton Saints), Eli Walker (Ospreys), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

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