Cardiff: Wales coach Warren Gatland included lock Corey Hill in his 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup in Japan despite the second rower having not played for the side since February.
Gatland took a risk by naming Hill as one of four second-rowers - alongside captain Alun Wyn Jones, Jake Ball and Adam Beard - even though the 27-year-old has yet to prove his match fitness after fracturing his leg.
He will not be available at least until the second Pool D game against Australia on September 29, but Gatland has also picked back-rower Aaron Shingler to cover the lock position. Five props have been selected, one fewer than expected, in Nicky Smith, Wyn Jones, Rhys Carre, Tomas Francis and Dillon Lewis, with only two specialist tight-heads.
“Our original thinking was six props but we’ve gone with five,” Gatland said.
“There always has to be a compromise in the squad. We’ll be doing some work with Wyn Jones in terms of covering that tight-head position.” Carre only made his international debut against Ireland in Saturday’s 22-17 defeat in Cardiff but he was selected ahead of the more experienced Rob Evans and Samson Lee.
“When we decided to go with the five props, one of the big discussions was how durable they are,” the coach added.
“Rob hasn’t trained a lot. He came in with a shoulder injury, then a neck injury and a few back issues. Samson has missed a few campaigns, had a hamstring issue during the campaign.
“Someone like Rhys Carre has made incredible progress. He’s dropped 10 kgs, he’s a big man.”
Wales have opted for six back-row players in James Davies, Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Shingler, Justin Tipuric and Aaron Wainwright to complete his pack. Gareth Davies, Aled Davies and Tomos Williams will contest the scrum-half position, with Dan Biggar and Rhys Patchell the flyhalves with Jarrod Evans missing out.
Wales are in Pool D at the World Cup and open their campaign against Georgia in Toyota on Sept. 23. They will also face Fiji and Uruguay.
Squad: Forwards (18): Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Rhys Carre, James Davies, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones, Wyn Jones, Dillon Lewis, Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Ken Owens, Aaron Shingler, Nicky Smith, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright.
Backs (13): Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Dan Biggar, Aled Davies, Gareth Davies, Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Hadleigh Parkes, Rhys Patchell, Owen Watkin, Liam Williams, Tomos Williams.