Biggar confirmed as Wales captain for South Africa tour

Dan Biggar is confirmed as Wales captain for South Africa tour, with uncapped Leicester flanker Tommy Reffell included in 33-man squad

  • Wayne Pivac’s Wales side face a testing series against South Africa in July
  • Coach has named Dan Biggar as the captain for tourists, with squad revealed
  • A number of players are out injured but George North is among the 33 
  • Leicester’s uncapped flanker Tommy Reffell has also earned a call-up 

Dan Biggar will captain Wales’ summer tour of South Africa with uncapped Leicester Tigers flanker Tommy Reffell and George North also included in a 33-man party, as predicted by Sportsmail.

Head coach Wayne Pivac faces a daunting three-Test series with the Springboks after his team’s disappointing fifth-place Six Nations finish which included a first home defeat by Italy.

Pivac is without a host of key players for the trip to the southern hemisphere with Ken Owens, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty, Christ Tshiunza, Aaron Wainwright, Uilisi Halaholo, Leigh Halfpenny and Johnny McNicholl all out injured. 

Despite Alun Wyn Jones also being named in the squad, Dan Biggar is Wales’ captain

Tommy Reffell (with ball) has been on fine form and earned a first call-up for Wales

It makes his decision to leave out experienced 100-cap centre Jonathan Davies all the more surprising. 

JULY TESTS: 

Sat 02/07/22: South Africa v Wales – 1st Test

Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria

KO 16.05h BST, Live on Sky Sports

Sat 09/07/22: South Africa v Wales – 2nd Test

Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein

KO 16.05h BST, Live on Sky Sports

Sat 16/07/22: South Africa v Wales – 3rd Test

DHL Stadium, Cape Town

KO 16.05h BST, Live on Sky Sports

There is no place in the squad for Ellis Jenkins or young flanker Jac Morgan. Biggar continues as captain from the Six Nations despite Alun Wyn Jones’ inclusion.

Pivac said: ‘We’ve had some players come back from injury like George so that’s exciting for the squad. Some players have been ruled out through injury so there is naturally going to be change there.‘

‘Then we’ve looked at players’ form, who we are playing and where we’re playing. I spoke to Tommy before we announced the squad for the Six Nations. We looked hard at Tommy and decided to leave him out then. He’s played very well since.

‘He’s been very consistent – one of the most consistent players in the English Premiership – so we feel he deserves an opportunity and he will be well tested on this tour.

‘This three-Test series is going to be a challenge so first and foremost we’ve got to do a lot of preparation in Wales before we go and make sure we are in the best shape possible to perform well.’

On the captaincy, Pivac added: ‘Dan is named captain. We’ve obviously got great leadership in the group with Alun Wyn and Dan.

Wayne Pivac’s side face a hugely testing tour against world champions South Africa 

‘Dan did well in the Six Nations and Al has come back from a pretty big lay off. He’s had a little bit of rugby and we want him to hit his straps as a second row, 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.’

Reffell – who has been a key figure in Leicester’s run to the top of the Gallagher Premiership this season – is named in a senior Wales squad for the first time and edges out the in-form Morgan.

The experienced flanker Dan Lydiate joins North in returning from injury while hooker Sam Parry and fly-half Rhys Patchell are also named after long absences from the international arena. Cardiff’s forward Seb Davies is another omission.

WALES SQUAD FOR SOUTH AFRICA: 

Forwards (19): Rhys Carre (Cardiff Rugby – 16 caps), Wyn Jones (Scarlets – 43 caps), Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 10 caps), Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 27 caps), Dewi Lake (Ospreys – 5 caps), Sam Parry (Ospreys – 5 caps), Leon Brown (Dragons – 22 caps), Tomas Francis (Ospreys – 64 caps), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 38 caps), Adam Beard (Ospreys – 34 caps), Ben Carter (Dragons – 6 caps), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys – 150 caps), Will Rowlands (Dragons – 18 caps), Taine Basham (Dragons – 10 caps) , Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby – 89 caps), Dan Lydiate (Ospreys – 65 caps), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Rugby – 30 caps), James Ratti (Cardiff Rugby – uncapped), Tommy Reffell (Leicester Tigers – uncapped)

Backs (14): Gareth Davies (Scarlets – 67 caps), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets – 11 caps), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 33 caps), Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys – 31 caps), Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints – 100 caps – captain), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets – 21 caps), George North (Ospreys – 102 caps), Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 20 caps), Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 31 caps), Johnny Williams (Scarlets – 5 caps, Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 39 caps), Alex Cuthbert (Ospreys – 51 caps), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 16 caps), Liam Williams (Scarlets – 78 caps)

Players unavailable for selection due to injury: Ken Owens, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty, Christ Tshiunza, Aaron Wainwright, Uilisi Halaholo, Leigh Halfpenny, Johnny McNicholl

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