"Liam Williams Returns" - Warren Gatland Names 36-Man Wales Training Squad for Summer Tests Against Springboks & Wallabies - Ruck

“Liam Williams Returns” – Warren Gatland Names 36-Man Wales Training Squad for Summer Tests Against Springboks & Wallabies

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has named a 36-man training squad, as preparations get underway for the 2024 Summer Series. Wales commence their Summer with a blockbuster opener against South Africa, which will take place at Twickenham Stadium on June 22nd.

This fixture is apart of a two-match double header, that will also see Fiji take on the Barbarians at the home of English rugby. Wales then head ‘down under’ for a three match trip in Australia. Gatland’s men will take on the Wallabies in two tests, before a third and final fixture against Super Rugby side Queensland Reds.

Warren Gatland, Head Coach of Wales is interviewed during the 2023 Guinness Six Nations Media Launch at County Hall, Lambeth, London on Monday 23rd January 2023 | Photo: James Fearn/PPAUK.

An updated squad of 34 players who will travel to Australia will be confirmed following the Springboks encounter on June 22nd.

Gatland has selected four uncapped players amongst the 22 forwards and 15 backs, which were named today: Cardiff Rugby’s Ellis Bevan (scrum half) and Jacob Beetham (full back), as well as wingers Keelan Giles (Ospreys) and Josh Hathaway (Gloucester Rugby) all look to make their test match debut. Ben Carter, Dewi Lake, Jac Morgan, Taine Plumtree and Christ Tshiunza return for Wales having missed the Guinness Six Nations due to injury.

All smiles for Christ Tshiunza of Wales after the Summer Nations Series Rugby match between Wales and England at Principality Stadium on August 5, 2023 in Cardiff, Wales. Photo: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

There are some high profile players returning to the Wales squad, following stints away from the side due to club commitments. Liam Williams has been named in the 36-man group, after finishing up his duties with the Kubota Spears in the Japan Rugby League One. Also, lock Cory Hill is set for his comeback to the national set-up, after the second row completed his first season at Secom Rugguts, who play in the JRLO Division 3.

A decision has been taken to give established Welsh players Josh Adams, Ryan Elias and Will Rowlands a break this summer, so they have not been selected in the squad. Gatland said: “We’ve selected a bigger squad because we don’t have the English club-based players available for the South Africa match. So we will be reducing the squad from 36 to 34 players for Australia.

Liam Williams of Wales during the Summer Nations Series Match between England and Wales at Twickenham, London on 12 Aug 2023 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

“I think everyone appreciates and realises we’re building towards 2027. There were moments during the Six Nations where we played some really good rugby and put the opposition teams under some pressure, but we probably weren’t accurate enough.

“It’s about playing for longer periods, putting halves together and putting an 80-minute performance together which ultimately gives you confidence and gives you that opportunity to win games.

“We need to build on that. We need to keep working hard. We’ve got some experience to come back into the squad and some exciting players which is good.

“The big focus for us is about our game management and to get better with that. But we also want to improve our collision dominance whether that’s attack or defence and create some more depth and competition within the squad.”

Dafydd Jenkins, Captain of Wales during the Six Nations Match between England and Wales at Twickenham, London on 10 February 2024 (Photo: Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

Regarding the captaincy, Gatland added: “When the squad comes in we will look at a leadership group that is going to be important for us going forward.

“Then we’ll probably be looking to name a captain for the South Africa game and then name a captain for the tour”.


Forwards (22)

Corey Domachowski (Cardiff Rugby – 10 caps)
Kemsley Mathias (Scarlets – 2 caps)
Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 30 caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons – 51 caps)
Dewi Lake (Ospreys – 12 caps)
Evan Lloyd (Cardiff Rugby – 2 caps)
Sam Parry (Ospreys – 7 caps)
Keiron Assiratti (Cardiff Rugby – 6 caps)
Archie Griffin (Bath Rugby – 1 cap)
Dillon Lewis (Harlequins – 57 caps)
Harri O’Connor (Scarlets – 1 cap)
Henry Thomas (Castres Olympique – 4 caps)
Ben Carter (Dragons – 11 caps)
Cory Hill (Secom Rugguts – 32 caps)
Dafydd Jenkins (Exeter Chiefs – 17 caps)
Matthew Screech (Dragons – 1 cap)
Christ Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs – 10 caps)
Mackenzie Martin (Cardiff Rugby – 3 caps)
Jac Morgan (Ospreys – 15 caps)
Taine Plumtree (Scarlets – 2 caps)
Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – 18 caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons – 48 caps)

Backs (14)

Ellis Bevan (Cardiff Rugby / Caerdydd – uncapped / heb gap)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets – 76 caps)
Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 21 caps)
Sam Costelow (Scarlets – 12 caps)
Mason Grady (Cardiff Rugby – 11 caps)
Ben Thomas (Cardiff Rugby – 2 caps)
Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 36 caps)
Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 38 caps)
Rio Dyer (Dragons – 19 caps)
Keelan Giles (Ospreys – uncapped)
Josh Hathaway (Gloucester Rugby – uncapped)
Liam Williams (Kubota Spears – 89 caps)
Jacob Beetham (Cardiff Rugby – uncapped / heb gap)
Cameron Winnett (Cardiff Rugby – 5 caps)


Saturday 22 June: South Africa v Wales
Twickenham Stadium
KO 14.00 BST

Saturday 6 July: Australia v Wales
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
KO 10.55h BST / 19.55h local time

Saturday 13 July: Australia v Wales
AAMI Park, Melbourne
KO 10.55 BST / 19.55h local time

Friday 19 July: Queensland Reds v Wales
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
KO 10.55 BST / 19.55h local time