Wales will head to the World Cup without ‘Nugget’ Martyn Williams
Warren Gatland has named his 30-man Wales squad for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and there is no place for Martyn Williams.
Williams was handed a chance to impress against Argentina last Saturday, but a lacklustre performance under his leadership seems to have cost him his place in the squad.
Many though Williams would be taken purely on his experience but the man known as Nugget will not be travelling to New Zealand as a playing member.
His place in the squad will instead go to Josh Turnball with Sam Warburton handed the captaincy following a string of impressive performances against England.
There are spots for Gethin Jenkins and Stephen Jones despite not featuring in any of Wales’ three World Cup games but other than that, there are no other real surprises, although Dwayne Peel’s decision to stay at Sale has cost him a spot in New Zealnd.
Gavin Henson’s wrist injury ruled him out and Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies and Scott Williams will compete for the centre spots with James Hook also offering an option at centre.
Lloyd Burns, Ken Owens and Huw Bennett will compete for the vacant position at hooker with Bennett likely to stand in for Matthew Rees.
Lee Byrne is the only recognised full-back in the squad but Hook and Leigh Halfpenny all have experience of playing there should Byrne fail to find the form that saw him become a British Lion.
Richie Rees’ suspension has seen him lose his scrum half place to Cardiff Blues teammate Lloyd Williams who made his debut against Argentina last Saturday,
Backs: Michael Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Blues), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), Jonathan Davies, Stephen Jones, Rhys Priestland, Scott Williams (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Blues), Lee Byrne (Clermont Auvergne), Aled Brew (Dragons), Shane Williams (Ospreys), George North (Scarlets).
Forwards: Gethin Jenkins (Blues), Lloyd Burns (Dragons), Huw Bennett, Ryan Bevington, Adam Jones, Paul James (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Craig Mitchell (Exeter), Bradley Davies, Sam Warburton (Blues, capt), Luke Charteris, Danny Lydiate, Toby Faletau (Dragons), Ryan Jones, Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Andy Powell (Sale Sharks).