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Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 16:56 GMT 17:56 UK
Wales rejection puzzles James
Dafydd James scored a memorable try in the first Test win over Australia
Dafydd James won a 2001 Lions Test wing spot

Wales reject Dafydd James has admitted he is mystified at the reasons given for his exclusion from Wales' squad announced this week.

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James was left out of Steve Hansen's 30-man squad for the autumn Test series against Romania, Fiji, Canada and New Zealand.

The 27-year-old revealed the Wales management told him that he did not have enough experience as a winger to be considered for that position.


Having three Test caps for the Lions on the wing suggests I have the ability to play there
Dafydd James

That is despite winning all but a handful of his 40 Wales caps, including 13 tries, plus three Lions caps (one try) on the wing.

James plays his club rugby at centre, but missed out behind Sonny Parker, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Robinson and Andy Marinos.

"Obviously I'm bitterly disappointed with the decision but I'll have to live with it and bounce back," James said.

"I was told that the Wales management didn't consider me as a centre and that I haven't played enough games on the wing.

"It's disappointing as I've won most of my Wales caps on the wing. Although I've played all my club rugby at centre, I don't think there's any club versus country issue.

"Having three Test caps for the British Lions on the wing, plus eight other provincial games, should suggest I have the ability to play there."

Craig Morgan and Mark Jones are the only recognised specialist wings in Hansen's squad, with James' Bridgend colleague Gareth Thomas added as "utility" cover.

Like James, Thomas has played most of his Test rugby on the wing and club rugby at centre.

But he has regularly played both No 12 and No 13, whereas James has rarely played at inside centre either with Bridgend or at former club Llanelli.

"I've got no objections if Bridgend or the Wales management want me to play on the wing for my club, but I do consider myself a centre and I could offer a lot," James added.

"There hasn't been a problem in the past when I've been playing centre for my club and wing for Wales - and I don't see why there should be now."


Wales squad for the November internationals:

Forwards: Iestyn Thomas (Llanelli), Gethin Jenkins (Pontypridd), Ben Evans (Swansea), Martyn Madden (Llanelli), Robin McBryde (Llanelli), Mefin Davies (Pontypridd), Vernon Cooper (Llanelli), Gareth Llewellyn (Neath), Steve Williams (Northampton), Robert Sidoli (Pontypridd), Colin Charvis (Swansea, capt), Scott Quinnell (Llanelli), Dafydd Jones (Llanelli), Michael Owen (Pontypridd), Gavin Thomas (Bath), Martyn Williams (Cardiff), Richard Parks (Pontypridd).
Backs: Dwayne Peel (Llanelli), Ryan Powell (Cardiff), Stephen Jones (Llanelli), Neil Jenkins (Pontypridd), Iestyn Harris (Cardiff), Sonny Parker (Pontypridd), Tom Shanklin (Saracens), Andy Marinos (Newport), Jamie Robinson (Cardiff), Craig Morgan (Cardiff), Rhys Williams (Cardiff), Mark Jones (Llanelli), Gareth Thomas (Bridgend).

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Wales play four Tests against Romania, Fiji, Canada and New Zealand

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