Charvis to lead Wales to South Africa
May 9, 2002

Colin Charvis will captain a 27-man Wales squad to South Africa this summer.

The squad announced by coach Steve Hansen includes five uncapped forwards from European Shield finalists Pontypridd.

Hansen has also recalled Test rugby's world record points-scorer Neil Jenkins as one of three fly-halves alongside Stephen Jones and Iestyn Harris, and included in-form London Irish lock Steve Williams.

But there are no places for experienced second-row forwards Ian Gough or Chris Wyatt, the squad's big-name casualties.

Scott Quinnell, Wales captain during this season's Lloyds TSB Six Nations Championship, will stay at home to rest his troublesome knee - while Spencer John (knee), Andy Moore (knee) and Nathan Budgett (glandular fever), together with the unavailable Bridgend back Gareth Thomas, are also non-travellers.

Hansen has rewarded Pontypridd's outstanding season in Europe by selecting more than half their pack.

Prop Gethin Jenkins, hooker Mefin Davies, lock Robert Sidoli, flanker Richard Parks and number eight Michael Owen comprise a five-strong uncapped contingent as Wales face Tests against the Springboks in Bloemfontein on June 8 and Cape Town seven days later.

Pontypridd reached the Shield knockout stages by qualifying from a group which included Leeds and Beziers, then sent Saracens and London Irish packing to set up a final appointment with Sale on May 26.

Behind the scrum, Neil Jenkins is back following 10 months out recovering from a knee injury which wrecked his Lions tour of Australia last summer.

Jenkins, Wales' most-capped player with 84 international appearances, is unlikely to start either Test - but his experience will be invaluable.

Llanelli's Dwayne Peel and Bath scrum-half Gareth Cooper will contest the number nine jersey after Rob Howley's retirement from Test rugby - while Neath captain Gareth Llewellyn could forge a second-row partnership alongside Williams. Llewellyn, who has won 64 caps, last started a game for Wales during the 1999 World Cup.

Wales have never beaten South Africa away from home, their most recent attempt ending in humiliation when the Springboks destroyed them 96-13 at Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, five years ago.

Wales squad for Test matches against South Africa in Bloemfontein (June 8) and Cape Town (June 15).

Backs: K Morgan (Swansea), R Williams (Cardiff), D James (Bridgend), M Taylor (Swansea), J Robinson (Cardiff), A Marinos (Newport), T Shanklin (Saracens), C Morgan (Cardiff), S Jones (Llanelli), I Harris (Cardiff), N Jenkins (Cardiff), D Peel (Llanelli), G Cooper (Bath).

Forwards: I Thomas (Ebbw Vale), G Jenkins (Pontypridd), C Anthony (Newport), B Evans (Swansea), R McBryde (Llanelli), M Davies (Pontypridd), S Williams (London Irish), R Sidoli (Pontypridd), G Llewellyn (Neath), M Owen (Pontypridd), R Parks (Pontypridd), M Williams (Cardiff), G Thomas (Bath), C Charvis (Swansea, capt).

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