(Reuters) – Wales included Leigh Halfpenny in their Six Nations squad on Tuesday, despite the fullback having not played rugby since he was concussed against Australia in November.
Halfpenny, one of seven back-three options in a 39-man squad named by coach Warren Gatland, was poleaxed by Australia’s Samu Kerevi in the 9-6 victory over the Wallabies, one of four November wins for the Welsh.
“We have got a few injuries and have selected a larger squad because of that,” Gatland said. “We initially selected 40 players but that was reduced to 39 on Monday with Taulupe’s (Faletau) injury ruling him out.
“We have a really experienced squad of players, who have been around a number of campaigns together and we feel we are in a pretty good place going into this huge year.”
Gatland has included four flyhalves in Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Rhys Patchell and Jarrod Evans.
Loose forward Dan Lydiate was not been included as he nurses an elbow injury, with Thomas Young getting the call having been overlooked in the recent past. Wales start their Six Nations campaign against France on Feb. 1, seeking a first crown since claiming back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.
Forwards: Rob Evans, Wyn Jones, Nicky Smith, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Ken Owens, Leon Brown, Tomas Francis, Samson Lee, Dillon Lewis, Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Seb Davies, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones, Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Josh Turnbull, Aaron Wainwright, Thomas Young. Backs: Aled Davies, Gareth Davies, Tomos Williams, Gareth Anscombe, Dan Biggar, Jarrod Evans, Rhys Patchell, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Owen Watkin, Scott Williams, Hallam Amos, Steffan Evans, Leigh Halfpenny, Jonah Holmes, George North, Liam Williams
(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond)