Welsh legend Alun Wyn Jones has been re-called into the Wales squad ahead of their tour to South Africa this summer, but he will not be touring as captain.
Instead, Wayne Pivac has decided to stick with his six nations captain, Dan Biggar, who took up the role while Jones was out injured. Speaking on his decision to keep the armband with the fly half, Pivac told Welsh Rugby Union,
“We’ve obviously got great leadership in the group with Alun Wyn and Dan. Dan did well in the Six Nations and Al has come back from a pretty big lay off.”
“We want him (Alun Wyn Jones) to hit his straps as a second row and be the best player he can be and focus on playing. He’ll lead naturally anyway but certainly he’s looking forward to that challenge.”
Elsewhere in the squad, there have been recalls for stalwarts George North and Dan Lydiate after lengthy spells out of international action.
• Summer Tour 2022 •
Here's your squad for the upcoming South Africa Test Series captained by Dan Biggar.
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— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) May 18, 2022
There is a duo of uncapped players announced in the 33 man squad, Cardiff Rugby’s James Ratti and Leicester Tigers’ Tommy Reffell, after both impressed at club level.
After a poor six nations, Welsh Rugby will look to bounce back on this summer tour however understand they have their work cut out going against the current World champions.
On this, Wayne Pivac said “This three Test Series is going to be a challenge. It always has been, history shows that and certainly that’s what we’re looking to achieve – to get a victory there if not two and win a series”
“The first two Tests at altitude are going to be a challenge, so first and foremost we’ve got to do a lot of preparation here in Wales before we go and make sure we are in the best shape possible to perform well”.
On social media there have been mixed reactions from Welsh fans.
One Twitter user commented, “Squad selection as usual there is no consistency. We’re going to get destroyed”
Whereas some were more optimistic “Absolutely chuffed for Tommy Reffell. He has been outstanding for Tigers this season and will serve his country with distinction.”