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Ratti rewarded with first Wales call-up

International | 18th January 2022

Cardiff's James Ratti has been rewarded for his fine form for the Blue and Blacks with his first call-up to the Wales squad.

Wayne Pivac has named three uncapped players in his 36-man squad, as they prepare to defend their Guinness Six Nations crown.

The campaign gets underway in Dublin on Saturday, February 5, with nine Cardiff stars included in the extended squad.

Ratti, who has impressed since making a switch from lock to number eight, is joined in the back row division by 14-times capped Ellis Jenkins, with Seb Davies also included after impressing during the Autumn Nations Series.

Prop duo Dillon Lewis and Rhys Carré are given the nod amongst the front row, while outside half Rhys Priestland retains his spot, looking to add to his 52 caps to date.

Uilisi Halaholo will compete for a spot in midfield, with Tomos Williams and British and Irish Lions wing, Josh Adams, completing the Blue and Blacks' contingent.

Full back Liam Williams, who is set to arrive at the Arms Park in the summer, is also named in Pivac's squad, but incoming number eight, Taulupe Faletau, was unavailable for selection. 

Josh Navidi is also ruled out with a shoulder injury, suffered in October, but a total of nine squad members were developed through the club's pathway system.

Ospreys duo Jac Morgan and Dewi Lake are both in contention to win their first caps while captain Dan Biggar could reach a century of appearances in the red jersey by the end of the campaign.

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac said: “We are excited to get back together as a squad when we meet up on Monday.

“The Guinness Six Nations is a very special competition and we want to go out and win, like every other nation. This is tournament rugby, so it’s about working hard in training and preparing well each week.

“Last year the Six Nations offered fans an exciting brand of rugby with lots of tries and, while we know we have five tough matches ahead and the margins in Test rugby are fine, we are looking forward to the challenge.

“With the world cup on the horizon next year, every match will be important for development on the road to France.

“In terms of captaincy we’ve named Dan Biggar. With the experience missing with some players out injured, we wanted someone who had experienced the competition on a number of occasions and knows the rigours of it. He gives us that – he has 95 Wales caps and he’s toured with the British and Irish Lions.

“Dan has the respect of the other players and management so we think he’ll do a great job.”

“It’s fantastic news that we will continue to have crowds at Principality Stadium. We have the most incredible fans and the atmosphere they create is second to none. I know the players cannot wait to get back out and put in a performance for them.”

The squad will meet up at the national training base in Hensol on Monday 24 January ahead of its first game against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin on Saturday 5 February (KO 2.15pm).

Forwards (20)
Rhys Carre (Cardiff Rugby – 16 caps)
Wyn Jones (Scarlets – 38 caps)
Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 5 caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 23 caps)
Dewi Lake (Ospreys – uncapped)
Bradley Roberts (Ulster Rugby – 1 cap)
Leon Brown (Dragons – 16 caps)
Tomas Francis (Ospreys – 60 caps)
Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 34 caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys – 29 caps), vice-captain
Ben Carter (Dragons – 5 caps)
Seb Davies (Cardiff Rugby – 13 caps)
Will Rowlands (Dragons – 13 caps)
Christ Tshiunza (Exeter Chiefs – 2 caps)
Taine Basham (Dragons – 7 caps)
Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Rugby – 14 caps)
Jac Morgan (Ospreys – uncapped)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons – 49 caps)
James Ratti – (Cardiff Rugby – uncapped)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons – 34 caps)

Backs (16)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets – 65 caps)
Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 8 caps)
Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 29 caps)
Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys – 29 caps)
Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints – 95 caps), captain
Rhys Priestland (Cardiff Rugby – 52 caps)
Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears – 13 caps)
Jonathan Davies (Scarlets – 93 caps)
Uilisi Halaholo (Cardiff Rugby – 9 caps)
Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 16 caps)
Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 26 caps)
Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 35 caps)
Alex Cuthbert (Ospreys – 48 caps)
Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 12 caps)
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets – 8 caps)
Liam Williams (Scarlets – 74 caps)