Johnny McNicholl named in Wales squad to face Baabaas

19 Nov 2019
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Johnny McNicholl could make his Wales debut at the end of the month after being named in Wayne Pivac’s first national squad.

Able to slot in at full-back or wing, the Scarlets star qualified for Wales on residency this month after three impressive seasons in West Wales.

He has scored 32 tries in 72 appearances for the Scarlets since his move from Super Rugby side the Crusaders, including a brilliant hat-trick against Leinster in the 2018 Guinness PRO14 final. He was also nominated for the PRO14 player of the season in 2018-19.

The 29-year-old is one of 12 Scarlets players included in Wales’ 35-man squad for the uncapped match against the Barbarians at the Principality Stadium on November 30.

There are recalls for front-rowers Rob Evans, Samson Lee and Steff Evans, who join Ryan Elias, Ken Owens, Wyn Jones, Jake Ball, Aaron Shingler, Gareth Davies, Hadleigh Parkes and Leigh Halfpenny, who all featured at the Rugby World Cup.

Jonathan Davies and Rhys Patchell are long-term absentees as they recover from injuries picked up in Japan, while flanker James Davies wasn’t considered because of injury.

On announcing his first Wales squad, Pivac said: “It is great to get the squad announced and get the ball rolling on our first meet-up and first fixture next week.

“This Barbarians game is a great chance for us as a new squad and management to get together and to set the scene for what we are looking to do. Having this opportunity ahead of tournament rugby in the Six Nations is ideal for us.

“It is also a great chance for some players to really put their hand up and show what they are about and take to the field in front of a big crowd at home.

“We will be bringing a few additional players in to train with the squad during the week, just to see them in the environment and will also be bringing some of the injured players in for some of the scene setting style sessions.”

 

Wales squad for Barbarians (Saturday, Nov 30, KO 14.45)

Forwards:

Elliot Dee (Dragons) (29 Caps)

Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (9 Caps)

Ken Owens (Scarlets) (73 Caps)

Rob Evans (Scarlets) (36 Caps)

Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (22 Caps)

Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (35 Caps)

Leon Brown (Dragons) (6 Caps)

Samson Lee (Scarlets) (41 Caps)

Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) (22 Caps)

Jake Ball (Scarlets) (42 Caps)

Adam Beard (Ospreys) (20 Caps)

Bradley Davies (Ospreys) (66 Caps)

Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues) (7 Caps)

Taine Basham (Dragons) (Uncapped)

Ollie Griffiths (Dragons) (1 Cap)

Shane Lewis-Hughes (Cardiff Blues) (Uncapped)

Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (41 Caps)

Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (26 Caps)

Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (72 Caps)

Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (18 Caps)

Backs:

Aled Davies (Ospreys) (20 Caps)

Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (51 Caps)

Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues) (16 Caps)

Sam Davies (Dragons) (8 Caps)

Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues) (3 Caps)

Willis Halaholo (Cardiff Blues) (Uncapped)

Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (25 Caps)

Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (22 Caps)

Owen Lane (Cardiff Blues) (2 Caps)

Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues) (21 Caps)

Steff Evans (Scarlets) (13 Caps)

Ashton Hewitt (Dragons) (Uncapped)

Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) (Uncapped)

Hallam Amos (Cardiff Blues) (22 Caps)

Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (85 Caps)