Wayne Pivac: New Wales head coach picks McNicholl and Halaholo in first squad

breaking news

New Wales coach Wayne Pivac has named New Zealand-born backs Johnny McNicholl and Willis Halaholo in his first squad.

Injured World Cup captain Alun Wyn Jones is not in the squad to face Barbarians in an uncapped match on Saturday, 30, November at Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

The touring team will be coached by Pivac’s predecessor Warren Gatland.

Uncapped players also include back-rowers Taine Basham and Shane Lewis-Hughes as well as wing Ashton Hewitt.

There are 22 players who featured for Wales at the World Cup in Japan with none of the England-based players available because the game falls outside the designated Test window.

Unavailable for that reason to Wales were Dan Biggar, Tomas Francis, Rhys Carre while captain Jones is on the casualty list alongside Jonathan Davies, George North, Rhys Patchell, Josh Navidi, Cory Hill and Gareth Anscombe.

Patchell and Anscombe’s absences resulted in a recall for Dragons Sam Davies, who along with Jarrod Evans is one of two specialist fly-halves in the squad.

Scarlets back-three player McNicholl and Cardiff Blues centre Halaholo qualified on residency to play for Wales in November.

There are also recalls for Scarlets props Rob Evans and Samson Lee as well as Dragons prop Leon Brown, who did not make Gatland’s World Cup squad.

More to follow.

Wales squad

Forwards:

Elliot Dee (Dragons), Ryan Elias (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Wyn Jones (Scarlets), Nicky Smith (Ospreys), Leon Brown (Dragons), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Adam Beard (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Ospreys), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues), Taine Basham (Dragons), Ollie Griffiths (Dragons), Shane Lewis-Hughes (Cardiff Blues), Ross Moriarty (Dragons), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons).

Backs:

Aled Davies (Ospreys), Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues), Sam Davies (Dragons), Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues), Willis Halaholo (Cardiff Blues), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets), Owen Watkin (Ospreys), Owen Lane (Cardiff Blues), Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues), Steff Evans (Scarlets), Ashton Hewitt (Dragons), Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets), Hallam Amos (Cardiff Blues), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets).

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BBC Sport – Sport

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