Francis named in Welsh World Cup squad
By Mark Stevens
Exeter Chiefs forward Tomas Francis is set to appear in his second Rugby World Cup having today been named in Wales’ 31-man squad for this year’s tournament in Japan.
The 27-year-old tight-head is one of five props to have been named by Head Coach Warren Gatland, featuring alongside Nicky Smith, Wyn Jones, Rhys Carre and Dillion Lewis.
Since making his Test debut just prior to the start of the last Rugby World Cup four years ago, Francis has since gone on to win 42 caps for his country and was part of Wales’ Grand Slam winning squad of last season.
Captain Alun Wyn Jones, who has featured in three RWCs and played in 15 tournament matches, is one of four second rows named by Gatland who will also be able to call upon a string of stellar names including the likes of Ross Moriarty, Justin Tipuric, Dan Biggar, Jonathan Davies, George North, Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams.
“Selection is always the toughest part of the job and that is especially true come RWC time,” said Gatland.“Reducing the squad down to 31 has been extremely hard especially when you look at the depth we have created and the amount of the work the training squad have put in, for some, 14 weeks of training.
“We are really happy with the final 31, we feel there is an excellent blend to the squad, in terms of talent, experience and age profile and we are all incredibly excited about heading to Japan and what lies ahead.
“These players have performed and delivered for Wales and deserve the opportunity to represent their nation at the game’s showpiece tournament.”
WALES’ 2019 RWC SQUAD (Player / Community club / Club / Wales Caps / Previous RWC)
Jake Ball – Camberley | Scarlets (35 Caps) (2015 RWC)
Adam Beard – Birchgrove RFC | Ospreys (15 Caps)
Rhys Carre – St Joseph’s | Saracens (1 Cap)
James Davies – Whitland | Scarlets (5 Caps)
Elliot Dee – Newbridge RFC | Dragons (21 Caps)
Ryan Elias – Carmarthen Athletic | Scarlets (8 Caps)
Tomas Francis – Malton & Norton | Exeter Chiefs (42 Caps) (2015 RWC)
Cory Hill – Pontypridd | Dragons (24 Caps)
Alun Wyn Jones – Bonymaen | Ospreys (127 Caps) (2007/11/15 RWC)
Wyn Jones – Llandovery | Scarlets (14 Caps)
Dillon Lewis – Beddau | Cardiff Blues (14 Caps)
Ross Moriarty – Morriston | Dragons (33 Caps) (2015 RWC)
Josh Navidi – Bridgend Athletic | Cardiff Blues (18 Caps)
Ken Owens – Carmarthen Athletic | Scarlets (66 Caps) (2011/15 RWC)
Aaron Shingler – Hendy | Scarlets (20 Caps)
Nicky Smith – Waunarlwydd | Ospreys (30 Caps)
Justin Tipuric – Trebanos | Ospreys (65 Caps) (2015 RWC)
Aaron Wainwright – Whiteheads RFC | Dragons (11 Caps)
Josh Adams – Hendy RFC | Cardiff Blues (13 Caps)
Hallam Amos – Monmouth RFC | Cardiff Blues (20 Caps) (2015 RWC)
Dan Biggar – Gorseinon | Northampton Saints (72 Caps) (2015 RWC)
Aled Davies – Whitland | Ospreys (19 Caps)
Gareth Davies – Newcastle Emlyn | Scarlets (43 Caps) (2015 RWC)
Jonathan Davies – Whitland | Scarlets (75 Caps) (2011 RWC)
Leigh Halfpenny – Gorseinon | Scarlets (81 Caps) (2011 RWC)
George North – Llangefni RFC | Ospreys (85 Caps) (2011/15 RWC)
Hadleigh Parkes – Hunterville |Scarlets (17 Caps)
Rhys Patchell – CRICC | Scarlets (12 Caps)
Owen Watkin – Bryncethin | Ospreys (16 Caps)
Tomos Williams – Treorchy Zebras | Cardiff Blues (8 Caps)
Liam Williams – Waunarlwydd | Saracens (56 Caps) (2015 RWC)