The unlucky players who missed out on Wales’ Six Nations call-up

Warren Gatland has named his squad for the 2023 campaign and there are some notable absentees

NEW Wales head coach Warren Gatland has announced his squad for the 2023 Guinness Six Nations with four uncapped players being called up.

Teddy Williams, Rhys Davies, Mason Grady and Keiran Williams have all got the nod and will be looking to earn their first caps during the tournament.

Wales get their campaign underway in Cardiff on February 4 when they host Ireland. Gatland’s 37-man squad contains a mix of youth and experience but the New Zealander has left out a number of players who have impressed at domestic level recently.

Nicky Smith

The most surprising omission is Ospreys prop Nicky Smith. The 28-year-old has been in superb form for the Ospreys in recent weeks with their scrum winning plaudits for the way they’ve dominated. Smith is good with ball in hand and is also a threat over the ball. Swansea-born Smith won the last of his 42 Welsh caps in November.

Morgan Morris

Ospreys No.8 Morris has been one of the club’s stand-out performers since breaking into the team three years ago. The 24-year-old from Swansea is renowned for his carrying and work over the ball, as well as having an eye for the line having scored four tries in his last seven outings. Morris has been instrumental in the Ospreys’ recent resurgence and will be wondering what else he can do to force his way into the Wales set-up.

Morgan Morris in action for the Ospreys – Credit WRU

Ryan Conbeer

The 23-year-old winger from Llanelli has been in excellent try-scoring form for the Scarlets this season, crossing for six in 12 games. Conbeer is capable of creating something out of nothing with his pace and elusiveness. Size may have been a factor in Gatland’s decision to leave him out as Gatland usually favours taller back-three players and Conbeer is only 5ft 10.

Sam Costelow

The 22-year-old Scarlets fly-half made his debut in the Autumn Nations series under Wayne Pivac but has seen club team-mate Rhys Patchell selected over him. Costelow featured twice in the autumn defeats against New Zealand and Georgia but the re-emergence of Owen Williams in the 10 jersey has counted against him.

Sam Costelow – Credit WRU

Dane Blacker

Uncapped scrum-half Blacker was called into Wayne Pivac’s squad for the autumn and made the bench for the game against Georgia but didn’t get onto the pitch. Despite being first choice for the Scarlets, Blacker has been overlooked in favour of club team-mate Kieran Hardy.

Ross Moriarty – Credit WalesOnline

Ross Moriarty

The 28-year-old back-row has 54 caps for Wales, the last of those coming in March of last year when Wales suffered a humiliating home defeat to Italy. Gatland was a big fan of the Dragons player in his first spell as head coach, taking him on the 2017 British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand and bringing him home to Wales from previous club Gloucester.