Henson named in 'Probables' Welsh squad
May 13, 2014
Gavin Henson is back in the Wales reckoning © Getty Images
Bath centre Gavin Henson looks to be on the verge of a Wales recall after he was named in the 'Probables' squad for the trial match against the 'Possibles' on May 30.
The game will give coach Warren Gatland one last chance to see his players in action before he names the squad for Wales' two-Test tour of South Africa. The match, which takes place at Swansea's Liberty Stadium, will feature two 26-man squads with Rob Howley looking after the 'Probables' and Robin McBryde in charge of the 'Possibles'.
Alun Wyn Jones will captain the 'Probables', a group which includes Henson who last played for Wales in 2011, with two uncapped players named in their squad - Dragons prop Owen Evans and Ospreys' Sam Davies.
"The trial is a great platform for us to see all of these players up close and allow them to pit themselves against each other," Howley said. "It takes us back to the traditional Wales trials of old and gives players and opportunity to put their hand up for the Wales jersey.
"Both sides will be going hard against each other with players having a point to prove. It's also a vital game in our preparation ahead of the tour to South Africa. The vast majority of the squad wouldn't have had any game time after last weekend and this allows us to have a meaningful match."
Leicester's uncapped fly-half Owen Williams is included in the 'Possibles' with the team captained by Matthew Rees. There is plenty of experience in that group with James Hook, Ian Evans and Paul James named alongside 10 uncapped players, including Bristol-bound Matthew Morgan.
"It's an important opportunity to see these players in our environment, using our language and styles," McBryde said. "The door is always open in international rugby and it will be good to see the squads for the week leading up to the game and in a game that has a lot of pressure attached as trials always do.
"It's a chance to see players go head to head for the jersey and it should be a great contest. It's great to have Matthew back in the set-up. It's no coincidence his return has resulted in an upturn in form for the Blues. He brings great leadership qualities and after the year he has had its great to see him playing so well."
George North, Dan Lydiate and Jamie Roberts' involvement is likely to depend on whether their clubs make their respective domestic final on May 31 and is also reliant on securing the necessary permission over player release from Premiership Rugby and Ligue Nationale de Rugby.
Forwards: Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Owen Evans (Dragons), Rhys Gill (Saracens), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Samson Lee (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (Captain), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Ryan Jones (Bristol), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets), Josh Navidi (Blues), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Taulupe Faletau (Dragons).
Backs: Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Sam Davies (Ospreys), Jon Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), Gavin Henson (Bath), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), George North (Northampton), Hallam Amos (Dragons), Liam Williams (Scarlets).
Forwards: Paul James (Bath), Phil Price (Dragons), Rob Evans (Scarlets), Matthew Rees (Blues), Kristian Dacey (Blues), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Scott Andrews (Blues), Aaron Jarvis (Ospreys), Bradley Davies (Blues), Andrew Coombs (Dragons), Ian Evans (Ospreys), Macauley Cook (Blues), Josh Turnbull (Scarlets), James Davies (Scarlets), Dan Baker (Ospreys).
Backs: Gareth Davies (Scarlets), Lloyd Williams (Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), Matthew Morgan (Ospreys), Harry Robinson (Blues), Owen Williams (Leicester), Steven Shingler (Scarlets), Cory Allen (Blues), Jonathan Spratt (Ospreys), Tom Prydie (Dragons), Jordan Williams (Scarlets).
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
From Burgess to Boudjellal, Haskell to Honey Badgers and retirees to Retallick, here's the Quotes of 2014
It was another bumper year of rugby action in 2014; join us as we take a look back at some of the season's top statistics
Salary caps, Saints, sinners and scrums - Monday Maul looks back at the key talking points from an eventful weekend