Lions return for Wales

Lions Test duo Lee Byrne and Adam Jones have returned to the Wales squad after missing the autumn internationals. [more]

Lions return for Wales

Lions Test duo Lee Byrne and Adam Jones have returned to the Wales squad after missing the autumn internationals.

Full back Byrne and prop Jones were absent for all four of the November Tests after leg and shoulder problems respectively.

But the pair have today been named in a 35-man squad for the Six Nations alongside 13 other Lions tourists.

Lions hooker Matthew Rees and fly-half Stephen Jones are both included despite currently being sidelined with injury.

Fellow 2009 tourists Leigh Halfpenny, Gethin Jenkins, Andy Powell, Jamie Roberts, Martyn Williams, James Hook, Alun-Wyn Jones and Shane Williams also make the squad, as do 2005 Lions Gareth Cooper, Tom Shanklin and Ryan Jones.

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Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys provide the bulk of the squad, with the Ospreys contributing 14 players and the Blues 13.

Wales and Lions coach Warren Gatland has also selected four uncapped players in Ospreys backs Tom Prydie and Kristian Phillips, Blues scrum-half Richie Rees and Saracens prop Rhys Gill, although former Lions scrum-half Dwayne Peel misses out through injury.

"We are now at the beginning of our countdown to the world cup and this slightly larger squad reflects that," said Gatland.

"We have brought in some youngsters to put some pressure on some of our senior players and to help increase the depth we have in certain positions.

"Kristian is a good example of an exciting young player, he has just won the Principality player of the month award and scored five tries in one match for Neath. He is skilfull and very quick.

"Elsewhere we are very happy to welcome back the likes of Adam (Jones) and Lee (Byrne) who were both obviously missed in the autumn, although at full-back in particular a certain James Hook provided more than ample cover.

"Our first match at Twickenham could set the tone for the Championship for both sides – we will both be desperate to win that first-up match.

"We then come to the Millennium Stadium for two home matches and the support we have there will make a huge difference to us."

Wales squad for the Six Nations

Cardiff Blues: Gareth Cooper, Bradley Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, Tom James, Gethin Jenkins, Deiniol Jones, Andy Powell, Richard Rees, Jamie Roberts, Tom Shanklin, Sam Warburton, Gareth Williams, Martyn Williams

Newport Gwent Dragons: Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate

Ospreys: Huw Bennett, Dan Biggar, Andrew Bishop, Lee Byrne, Ian Gough , James Hook, Paul James, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ryan Jones, Kristian Phillips, Tom Prydie, Jonathan Thomas, Shane Williams

Sacrlets: Jonathan Davies, Stephen Jones, Matthew Rees, Martin Roberts

Sale Sharks: Eifion Lewis-Roberts

Saracens: Rhys Gill

NB. Bold denotes Lions tourist

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