Wales squad can make quarter-finals - Scrum V's Gareth Charles

By Gareth CharlesBBC Wales rugby correspondent
Wales v Ireland Justin Tipuric try
George North, Ken Owens, Dan Biggar, Tomas Francis and Justin Tipuric are all in the 31-man Wales Rugby World Cup squad
Rugby World Cup
Hosts: England and Wales Dates: 18 September-31 October
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and sports extra, BBC Radio Wales and in Welsh on BBC Radio Cymru, plus live text commentary on every match on the BBC Sport website

Head coach Warren Gatland has revealed Wales' 31-man squad to contest the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Seven players, including fly-half Gareth Anscombe were dropped - but what of those who are left? BBC Wales rugby correspondent Gareth Charles gives his view.

Even though three-quarters of the squad was already cast in stone, never one to be second-guessed, Warren Gatland still managed to surprise the anticipating pundits and public by opting for just two hookers and selecting five front-line locks as well as having extra lock or back-row cover in the form of James King.

With Kristian Dacey missing out it will certainly increase the workload on hookers Ken Owens and Scott Baldwin who will be ever-presents in the tournament. And one can only hope the decision not to axe any second row forwards isn't an indication that Alun Wyn Jones' knee injury is in fact worse than is being let on.

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There are still concerns over long-term injuries including prop Samson Lee and full-back Liam Williams - who may well be greatly lacking in match time by the time the tournament kicks off.

But generally it is a solid-looking squad - a mix of experience and promise - with the total number of caps falling just two short of 1,000.

The more-or-less first team showed in Dublin against Ireland on Saturday exactly what they are capable of with an excellent 16-10 win over a side ranked second in the world with nine consecutive home wins.

Tomas Francis had a fine debut on the tight-head, open-side flanker Justin Tipuric - simply outstanding - showed he's an able deputy for captain Sam Warburton, and the work rate of the rest of the pack was immense. They can mix it with anyone.

Wales' World Cup pool games
Sunday, 20 Sept, 14:30 BST: Wales v Uruguay, Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 26 Sept, 20:00 BST: England v Wales, Twickenham Stadium
Thursday, 1 Oct, 16:45 BST: Wales v Fiji, Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 10 Oct, 16:45 BST: Wales v Australia, Twickenham Stadium

Mathew Morgan's inclusion ahead of the injured Gareth Anscombe offers a little of the unknown - "the X-factor" - referred to by Gatland which could prove very useful against Uruguay, Fiji and who knows in a tight situation against England or Australia which might be the difference between qualifying or not.

Is this a squad that can make the quarter finals or beyond? Injuries allowing, yes I think so.

Wales' 31-man World Cup squad

Props: Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs), Paul James (Ospreys), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Samson Lee (Scarlets).

Hookers: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets).

Locks: Jake Ball (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Racing 92), Dominic Day (Bath), Bradley Davies (Wasps), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys).

Back-rows: Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), James King (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt).

Scrum-halves: Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Rhys Webb (Ospreys), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues).

Fly-halves: Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Matthew Morgan (Bristol), Rhys Priestland (Bath).

Centres: Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins), Scott Williams (Scarlets).

Wings: Hallam Amos (Newport Gwent Dragons), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton Saints).

Full-backs: Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon), Liam Williams (Scarlets).

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