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Roberts to captain Wales after Pasifika Challenge announcement

Roberts to captain Wales after Pasifika Challenge announcement

Jamie Roberts will captain Wales on their two-Test summer Tour after interim head coach Robin McBryde named his 32-man squad.

“It's a proud moment for myself, but more importantly my family"

Jamie Roberts will captain Wales on their two-Test summer Tour after interim head coach Robin McBryde named his 32-man squad.

The two-time British & Irish Lion – capped 91 times by Wales – will lead his country in clashes against both Tonga and Samoa.

Wales will face Tonga at Eden Park on Friday June 16 as part of a Pacific Double Header – labelled ‘The Pasifika Challenge’ – that also sees the All Blacks take on Samoa in a pre-Lions Test warm up.

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Roberts captains a squad that has no fewer than 13 uncapped players in it – Wales have 12 players on Lions duty – and the Quins centre cannot wait to lead out his country.

"I'm immensely honoured to be named captain of Wales for this year's summer tour,” he said.

“It's a proud moment for myself, but more importantly my family and a position of responsibility that I will take huge pride in.

"I'm excited for the new players in the squad as they get the chance to test themselves at this level, and also for the more established players who now have a chance to become leaders in this team."

Following the Eden Park clash against Tonga, Wales fly to Apia to take on Samoa a week later on Friday June 23.
 

.@NZRugby announces Pasifika Challenge double header at Eden Park.

READ: https://t.co/T1kODpLdeF#TeamAllBlacks pic.twitter.com/IYhhufzC7c

— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) May 8, 2017


Samoa are first in action against the All Blacks, and the Pasifika Challenge – announced on Tuesday morning in New Zealand – is exactly what the All Blacks needed before taking on the Lions according to Steve Hansen.

“It’s great that we’re going to play Samoa. Along with Tonga and Wales it’s going to be a wonderful evening where you’ve got Pasifika rugby on show and Welsh rugby and New Zealand rugby,” said the All Blacks head coach.

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“It allows us to fill a need for ourselves as we need a game to prepare for the Lions and also give something back to Pasifika rugby.”
 
Wales squad to take on Tonga and Samoa in June:
 
Forwards
Scott Baldwin (Ospreys)
Jake Ball (Scarlets)
Adam Beard (Ospreys)
Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues)
Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets)
Rob Evans (Scarlets)
Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs)
Ollie Griffiths (Newport Gwent Dragons)
Cory Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons)
Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues)
Wyn Jones (Scarlets)
James King (Ospreys)
Samson Lee (Scarlets)
Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues)
Nicky Smith (Ospreys)
Rory Thornton (Ospreys)
Thomas Young (Wasps)

Backs
Cory Allen (Cardiff Blues)
Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues)
Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues)
Aled Davies (Scarlets)
Gareth Davies (Scarlets)
Sam Davies (Ospreys)
Steff Evans (Scarlets)
Keelan Giles (Ospreys)
Tyler Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons)
Jamie Roberts (captain, Harlequins)
Owen Williams (Leicester Tigers)
Rhun Williams (Cardiff Blues)
Scott Williams (Scarlets)
Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues)
 

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