From teammates to roommates, and now joint captains – the dynamic duo of Lake and Morgan.
With a 33-man team that intriguingly only includes two specialized scrum-halves – Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies – the squad also comprises injured players Taulupe Faletau and Gareth Anscombe.
Kicking off their Pool C challenge against Fiji in Bordeaux on September 10, Wales is set to face Portugal, Australia, and Georgia in further group stages.
The selected team shines a spotlight on newcomers like props Corey Domachowski and Henry Thomas, who won their maiden senior caps this August, and 20-year-old Exeter lock Dafydd Jenkins, who stands as the youngest player on the team.
Remarkably, 16 players will be experiencing the World Cup for the first time.
From the original 48-man squad, 15 players were omitted, including notable names like Keiron Assiratti, Ben Carter, Kieran Hardy, Max Llewellyn, and Owen Williams.
The Welsh Squad for World Cup: A Fresh Face
Forwards: Taine Basham, Adam Beard, Elliot Dee, Corey Domachowski, Ryan Elias, Taulupe Faletau, Tomas Francis, Dafydd Jenkins, Dewi Lake (co-captain), Dillon Lewis, Dan Lydiate, Jac Morgan (co-captain), Tommy Reffell, Will Rowlands, Nicky Smith, Gareth Thomas, Henry Thomas, Christ Tshiunza, Aaron Wainwright.
Backs: Josh Adams, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Sam Costelow, Gareth Davies, Rio Dyer, Mason Grady, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Louis Rees-Zammit, Nick Tompkins, Johnny Williams, Liam Williams, Tomos Williams.
A Novel Approach: Dual Leadership and More
The choice of Morgan and Lake as co-captains evokes memories of the appointment of a young Sam Warburton in 2011 under Gatland. The team has since lost experienced former captains like Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, and Ken Owens.
Gatland explained the novel leadership approach, saying, “They are two young players who will complement each other well…It’s a good opportunity.”
With only two specialized scrum-halves, this is the first time since 2003 that Wales have taken this approach. It’s a risky but calculated move, allowing for extra back options, including Leigh Halfpenny and George North, seasoned World Cup players.
Should a head injury arise, Gatland indicated that Scarlets fly-half Sam Costelow might fill the number nine role, and the situation would be addressed accordingly.
Injuries and Expectations
Currently, up to seven players are dealing with minor injuries as the team prepares for the World Cup opener. These include Dewi Lake, Ryan Elias, Dafydd Jenkins, Dan Biggar, and Liam Williams.
With only three specialized locks and Taine Plumtree’s shoulder injury, Gatland said, “Taine is unlucky,” but encouraged him to be ready if an opportunity arises.
The Road Ahead
Wales’ World Cup schedule is as follows:
- Wales vs. Fiji, Bordeaux, Sunday, 10 September 20:00 BST
- Wales vs. Portugal, Nice, Saturday, 16 September 16:45 BST
- Wales vs. Australia, Lyon, Sunday, 24 September 20:00 BST
- Wales vs. Georgia, Nantes, Saturday, 7 October 14:00 BST.
As the team gets ready to chase their dream of going pro and make their mark on the world stage, the anticipation is building for fans and players alike.
Stay tuned to SCRUM V RUGBY and RUCK STARS for the latest news, views, and interviews as the Rugby World Cup nears!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Wales Rugby World Cup 2023
Who are the co-captains for Wales in the 2023 Rugby World Cup?
Flanker Jac Morgan and hooker Dewi Lake have been chosen as co-captains for Wales in the upcoming Rugby World Cup.
How many players are in the Welsh squad for the tournament?
The Welsh squad for the 2023 World Cup consists of 33 players, including a mix of new and experienced talent.
Which countries will Wales face in their World Cup pool?
Wales is set to play against Fiji, Portugal, Australia, and Georgia in their pool stage matches.
How many specialist scrum-halves are in the squad?
Wales has selected two specialist scrum-halves, Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies, for the World Cup.
What’s the significance of the co-captains’ appointment?
The choice of co-captains reflects a novel approach, aiming to bring a fresh dynamic to the team’s leadership.
How many players in the squad are new to the World Cup experience?
A total of 16 players in the squad are set to experience their first-ever Rugby World Cup.
What’s the strategy behind taking only two specialist scrum-halves?
Wales’ decision to have only two scrum-halves is a calculated risk, allowing for extra options in other positions.
How will the team manage potential injuries during the tournament?
In the case of injuries, Scarlets fly-half Sam Costelow could step in to cover the scrum-half role.
Which players are currently dealing with injuries?
Up to seven players are carrying minor injuries ahead of the World Cup opener, including key names like Dan Biggar and Liam Williams.
What’s Wales’ World Cup schedule?
Wales will play against Fiji, Portugal, Australia, and Georgia in their pool stage matches at various locations in France.
More about Wales Rugby World Cup 2023
- Wales Rugby Union: Official website of the Welsh Rugby Union for updates on the national team.
- Rugby World Cup 2023: Official site for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, providing tournament details and news.
- Warren Gatland: Learn more about the Wales head coach and his strategies.
- Wales Squad Announcement: Coverage of the announcement of Wales’ World Cup squad.
- Co-Captains in Rugby: Explore the dynamics of co-captains in the world of rugby.
- Scarlets Rugby: Information about the Scarlets rugby team, including Sam Costelow.
- Rugby World Cup Schedule: Check the official schedule for the Rugby World Cup matches.