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Wales head coach Warren Gatland names 42-strong World Cup training squad

Wales head coach Gatland names 42-strong World Cup training squad
© Reuters
Head coach Warren Gatland has named a 42-man group to prepare for the global showpiece.

Uncapped Cardiff Blues players Owen Lane and Rhys Carre have been named in a 42-man Wales World Cup training squad.

Prop Carre, who will join Saracens later this year, and wing Lane are in a group that comprises 19 backs and 23 forwards.

Head coach Warren Gatland has included 36 of his squad selected for this season's Six Nations, when Wales were crowned Grand Slam champions.

Bath's British and Irish Lions number eight Taulupe Faletau, who has missed much of this season due to injury, is selected, along with back-row colleagues Aaron Shingler and James Davies.

There is also a place for experienced Ospreys lock Bradley Davies as Wales face a busy summer of preparation that features four warm-up Tests.

Injured flankers Ellis Jenkins and Thomas Young are both excluded, but could come into consideration later this summer depending on their recoveries.

Gatland said: "It is exciting to name our training squad and to get the RWC ball rolling.

Wales v New Zealand ā€“ Autumn International ā€“ Principality Stadium
Taulupe Faletau is in contention for a place in Wales' World Cup squad if he can prove his fitness after injury. (Joe Giddens/PA)

"We've named a 42-man squad, packed with experience. A good number of the Grand Slam-winning squad are in there, plus some players who have returned from injury.

"The last couple of years have been about building depth and exposing players, and we have done that well, so we have kept the numbers down to make the squad as manageable as possible.

"We have been really impressed with Rhys and with Owen. They have both been on our succession plan for a while, and it will be good to have them in camp with us and to see what they are able to do."

Edinburgh Rugby v Cardiff Blues ā€“ Challenge Cup ā€“ Quarter Final ā€“ BT Murrayfield
Cardiff's Owen Lane, left,Ā  is one of two uncapped players in a provisional 42-man Wales squad ahead of the World Cup. (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Wales kick off their World Cup campaign in Japan against Georgia on September 23, which is followed by pool stage appointments with Australia, Fiji and Uruguay.

It will be Gatland's last campaign before he steps down as Wales boss, with many pundits feeling his players could match ā€“ or better ā€“ reaching the 2011 semi-finals.

Wales' busy summer of preparation will be highlighted by home and away games against England and Ireland, starting at Twickenham on August 11 and finishing in Dublin 27 days later.

Gatland is set to name his final World Cup squad during the week of the second Ireland game.

The New Zealander will also oversee training camp trips to Switzerland in July and Turkey the following month.

Wales will replicate their 2015 World Cup build-up in Switzerland, again basing themselves at Fiesch in the Swiss Alps for two weeks.

On August 18 they will depart for warm-weather training at Turkey's Gloria Sports Arena before heading to Japan just over three weeks later and a further training camp in Kitakyushu.

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Wales head coach Warren Gatland celebrates after seeing his side win the Six Nations Grand Slam on March 16, 2019
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