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Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Sunday, 16 May 2010 17:10 UK

Andy Powell returns to Wales squad with uncapped trio

Andy Powell
Andy Powell was kicked out of the Wales squad in February

Blues number eight Andy Powell has been named in a 27-man Wales squad for the game with South Africa in Cardiff on 5 June and the two-Test New Zealand tour.

The 28-year-old was kicked out of the Six Nations squad after admitting driving a golf buggy while drunk.

He is joined in the squad by uncapped Scarlets trio Tavis Knoyle, Ken Owens and Rob McCusker.

The Ospreys' teenage wing Tom Prydie retains his place and Blues prop John Yapp returns after injury problems.

Yapp takes the place of Saracens prop Rhys Gill, meaning the entire squad is made up of Wales-based players from the Blues, Ospreys and Scarlets.

Gatland has also named an eight-man stand-by group which will train with the squad while they are in Wales and will be considered for the New Zealand tour should injuries occur.

Dragons trio Will Harries, Gavin Thomas and Jason Tovey, Blues pair Chris Czekaj and Rhys Thomas, Ospreys duo Ian Gough and Craig Mitchell and the Scarlets' Martin Roberts make up the list.

Injuries ruled James Hook, Luke Charteris, Dwayne Peel and Martyn Williams out of the reckoning.

I'm a great believer in 'if you are good enough you are old enough'

Wales coach Warren Gatland

They join Duncan Jones, Richard Hibbard, Dafydd Jones, Dan Lydiate, Gareth Cooper, Tom Shanklin, Tom James and Mark Jones on the sidelines, while Gareth Delve was not considered.

Those absentees apart, coach Warren Gatland has named his strongest squad, Ryan Jones leading a party including the likes of Stephen Jones, Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones and Shane Williams, who have all had a long season on the back of last summer's British and Irish Lions tour.

After welcoming world champions South Africa to the Millennium Stadium on 5 June, Gatland's squad head off to New Zealand where they will face the All Blacks in Dunedin (19 June) and Hamilton (26 June).


"I'm a great believer in 'if you are good enough you are old enough' and that applies to the likes of both Tom Prydie and Tavis Knoyle," said Gatland.

"We have gone very much for continuity of selection and kept the squad small, but there are also a couple of youngsters in there who we are going to stick by.

"Tom will gain experience from being with us. Shane Williams and even Lee Byrne aren't going to be around forever and he is someone who can cover those positions and who we are excited about.

Rob McCusker
Rob McCusker benefits from Martyn Williams and Dan Lydiate's absence

"We are excited about [scrum-half] Tavis as well. He is a big strong lad, someone who has been compared to Mike Phillips on the pitch, he has a good pass and some real speed and he has the frame there as well so he has it all going for him and he has some real potential.

"[Flanker] Rob McCusker comes in as well with a real opportunity to move himself up the pecking order.

"He perhaps wouldn't have had the chance if Martyn Williams had been with us or if Dan Lydiate at the Dragons had been fit, but he has an opportunity now.

"We have been impressed with his form for the Scarlets and he has played some sevens for Wales and there's no doubting he has the pace and ability so he is great potential."

Wales squad for June Tests:

Blues: Bradley Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, Gethin Jenkins, Deiniol Jones, Andy Powell, Richie Rees, Jamie Roberts, Sam Warburton, John Yapp.

Ospreys: Huw Bennett, Dan Biggar, Andrew Bishop, Lee Byrne, Paul James, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ryan Jones, Mike Phillips, Tom Prydie, Jonathan Thomas, Shane Williams.

Scarlets: Jonathan Davies, Stephen Jones, Tavis Knoyle, Rob McCusker, Ken Owens, Matthew Rees.

Standby list (to train with the squad in the UK and cover injuries for the New Zealand tour):

Blues: Chris Czekaj, Rhys Thomas.

Ospreys: Ian Gough, Craig Mitchell.

Scarlets: Martin Roberts.

Dragons: Will Harries, Gavin Thomas, Jason Tovey.

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see also
Wales excited by new-boy Knoyle
17 May 10 |  Welsh
Hore injury blow for New Zealand
15 May 10 |  Welsh
Wales suffer Jenkins injury blow
26 May 10 |  Welsh
Gatland considers 50-strong list
30 Apr 10 |  Welsh
Powell admits 'golf buggy' charge
02 Mar 10 |  Wales
Powell regret over 'stupid prank'
24 Feb 10 |  Welsh
Powell removed from Wales squad
15 Feb 10 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
Mighty Boks: South African rugby
01 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
All Blacks magic: New Zealand rugby
21 Oct 08 |  Rugby Union
Country profile: New Zealand
28 Nov 11 |  Country profiles
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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