World Cup player profiles: Wales

Date published: September 11 2015

Ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, we take a look at all of the players set to feature in England. Next up, Wales.

Forwards: Tomas Francis, Paul James, Aaron Jarvis, Gethin Jenkins, Samson Lee, Scott Baldwin, Ken Owens, Jake Ball, Luke Charteris, Bradley Davies, Dominic Day, Alun Wyn Jones, Taulupe Faletau, James King, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton (c).

Backs: Gareth Davies, Lloyd Williams, Dan Biggar, Rhys Priestland, Cory Allen, Jamie Roberts, Scott Williams, Hallam Amos, Alex Cuthbert, Matthew Morgan, George North, Liam Williams, Mike Phillips, Eli Walker.


 Centre    1.91m    99kg    11.02.1993

The Cardiff Blues centre made his Test debut in 2013 against Argentina. A shoulder injury in that game forced Allen to miss the majority of the 2013/14 season but he returned towards the end of the campaign and was selected in Warren Gatland's 32-man squad to tour South Africa. Allen was capped for Wales U18 at full-back before moving to centre and was part of the Wales U20 side that beat New Zealand at the Junior World Championship in South Africa in 2012. He has also turned heads with the Wales Sevens set up, winning the Sevens World Series Fans' Favourite Try of the Year.


 Wing    1.86m    98kg    24.09.1994

Amos currently plies his trade at Newport Gwent Dragons. The youthful talent joined the Dragons in 2011 and made history by becoming the youngest player to play Welsh regional rugby at the tender age of 17. Amos has made over 60 appearances for the Dragons and as a result he was selected for the Wales U20 side for the 2013 Six Nations Championship. Staggering performances for the U20 side saw him make his Test debut later that same year.


 Hooker    1.91m    114kg    12.17.1988

Baldwin broke through into the Wales starting XV during the 2015 Six Nations in place of Richard Hubbard. He made his debut for the Ospreys in 2009 and his international debut in 2013 during the Wales tour of Japan, with Baldwin coming off the bench in the second half to win his first cap for his country. His first starts for Wales came in the 2014 November Tests against first Fiji and then South Africa.


 Lock    1.97m    121kg    21.06.1991

Ball was born in England and migrated to Australia with his parents when he was 17. A rising star in Australia, he was spotted by Welsh regional team the Scarlets, who signed him on a three-year deal in 2012 at the age of 21. 2014 was a breakthrough year for Ball on the international scene with the second-row making his debut in the Six Nations against Ireland. The Scarlets lock featured off in bench in both Tests against South Africa in 2014 before two starts and two games off the bench in the 2015 Six Nations ahead of his first World Cup.


 Fly-half    1.88m    89kg    16.10.1989

Capped throughout the age-grades, Biggar starring for Wales U20 in the inaugural Junior World Championship. He made his full Wales debut as a teenager against Canada in November 2008. In 2013 he started all five games in the Six Nations Championship-winning campaign. He made it seven consecutive Welsh starts when he played in both Tests on the tour of Japan. He was named the PRO12 Players' Player of the Year in 2014, capping an impressive season for the Ospreys. Bigger established himself as Wales first-choice fly-half during the 2014/2015 season, starting eight Tests as he prepares to play in his first World Cup.


 Lock    2.01m    129kg    09.03.1983

Charteris played for Wales at U19 and U21 levels and graduated through the Newport youth system and made his international debut against South Africa in November 2004. He went on to feature in all seven of Wales' games in the Rugby World Cup in 2011. The second-row was part of the Grand Slam winning Wales side that took the Six Nations title in 2012. He joined French club Perpignan in 2012 before moving to Racing 92 in 2014. He started the last three games of the Six Nations ahead of his second World Cup.


 Wing    1.98m    106kg     05.04.1990

Cuthbert's CV already boasts two Six Nations titles, a Grand Slam and a British and Irish Lions series victory. The Cardiff Blues wing made a name for himself on the Sevens World Series. He made his debut for Wales in November 2011 against Australia and went onto start all five of Wales' 2012 Six Nations encounters and scored two tries against England in 2013 to help Wales to defend their title. He lost his place to Liam Williams during the 2015 Six Nations as Wales finished third.


 Lock    1.98m     115kg    09.01.1987

Davies was a key part of the Welsh side at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, playing in all seven games, starting three. Suspension and injury ruled him out of much of 2012 and 2013's Tests. He returned to Welsh colours in June of 2013, captaining the Welsh side that visited Japan, winning his 40th cap. In 2014, he joined English club Wasps from Cardiff Blues. Davies was a replacement against France in the 2015 Six Nations.


 Scrum-half    1.78m    86kg     18.08.1990 

A long-time scrum-half for the Scarlets since he made his debut in 2006. Davies was the top try scorer in the PRO12 during the 2013/2014 season with ten tries. As a result he was capped by Wales on their 2014 tour of South Africa, making his debut as a replacement. His second cap came after recovering from injury to be a replacement against Italy in the 2015 Six Nations.


  Lock    1.98m    118kg    22.08.1985

The 30-year-old's journey started in 2006 when he joined Scarlets for six years and as a result earned 92 caps for them.  Before the start of his professional career he was selected in the 2004 Wales U19 team and as a result was selected twice for the U21 team in 2005 and 2006. He signed With English club Bath in 2012.


 Number Eight    1.87m    110kg    12.11.1990

Tangaki Taulupe (Toby) Faletau became the first Pacific Islander to play for Wales in 2011 against the Barbarians. He moved to Wales aged seven when his father, 17-times capped Tongan international lock Kuli Faletau, joined Ebbw Vale. Faletau toured Australia with the British and Irish Lions in 2013, playing in the series clinching final Test in Sydney. Faletau could win his 50th Test cap and 50th cap for Wales during the 2015 Rugby World Cup as the highly-regarded number eight plays in his second World Cup.


 Prop    1.85m    140kg    27.04.1992

Francis started out playing for Doncaster Knights after he joined the club at the young age of four. He made his senior debut for them in 2012 at the age of 20, and went on to make 20 appearances before joining London Scottish on a one-year stint in 2013. The monstrous prop was snapped up by his current club, Exeter Chiefs in 2014 producing staggering performances, which resulted in his Test bow for Wales a year later. Francis is a powerhouse at scrum-time and a devastating ball carrier.


 Prop    1.85m     115kg    13.05.1982.

James won Wales honours at Youth, U19 and U21 levels and played the Ospreys before moving to Bath in 2012. He was an ever present in the Wales squad for the 2011 Six Nations and featured five times in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He won three further caps in the 2012 Grand Slam and played in all five fixtures as Wales retained the Championship in 2013. James won his 50th cap in the 2014 Six Nations against Ireland in Dublin and signed to return the Ospreys from Bath in 2015.


 Prop    1.83m    116kg    20.05.1986

Jarvis made his Test debut in 2012 against Argentina in Cardiff. He represented England at both U16 and U19 levels but qualifies for Wales through his Welsh-born grandmother. He left Bath to sign for the Ospreys ahead of the 2011/12 season, committing his future to Wales and winning his tenth cap for his country during the final match of the 2015 Six Nations against Italy in Rome.


 Prop    1.88m    120kg    17.11.1980

Jenkins is Wales' most capped prop and was a key part in four Six Nations Championship winning Welsh sides, including the Grand Slam seasons of 2005, 2008 and 2012 and 2013's campaign when he skippered the side to the title. He has toured with the British and Irish Lions on two occasions, to New Zealand in 2005 and South Africa in 2009, winning five caps. He was selected to tour with the Lions in 2013 but was forced to return home injured. Jenkins plays for Cardiff Blues after returning from one season with Toulon.


 Lock    1.96m    118kg    19.09.1985

Alun Wyn Jones skippered the British and Irish Lions in the series-winning Test against Australia in 2013 bringing his total of Lions caps to six, adding to three won in South Africa in 2009. He made his international debut in Argentina in 2006. He played in 2008 and 2012 Grand Slam wins and in the Six Nations Championship-winning season of 2013. He featured in all seven of Wales’ RWC 2011 games. He also captained Wales in the 2014 tour to South Africa. A vital leadership figure for Wales going into the 2015 Rugby World Cup.


 Flanker    1.93m    107kg    24.07.1990 

King, who currently plays for Ospreys has been a stalwart for them since he joined them in 2009, earning over a 100 caps. The 25-year-old made his Test debut in 2013 against Japan.


 Prop    1.80m    115kg    30.11.1992

Lee made his Test debut against Argentina in 2013. Previously he was a member of the Wales U20 side during the 2012 Six Nations tournament and was a mainstay of the side that finished third at the IRB Junior World Championship in South Africa the same year. He played in both Tests in South Africa in 2014. Lee added to his caps during the 2014/2015 season but suffered a serious achilles injury to put him in a race to be fit for the World Cup. He was named in the preliminary squad in June. 


 Flanker    1.93m    112kg    18.12.1987

Lydiate played in all three Tests for the British and Irish Lions in the 2013 series win over Australia. Lydiate's first appearance for Wales came in November 2009 against Argentina. He played five games at the 2011 World Cup and featured in four of the five fixtures in the 2012 Six Nations, helping Wales to a Grand Slam as well as picking up the Player of the Tournament title. He was released by French club Racing 92 to return to Wales with the Ospreys in 2014. Should he be selected for the World Cup, Lydia could win his 50th cap for Wales. 


 Flyhalf/Fullback    1.72m    73kg    23.04.1992 

Morgan, who currently plays for Ospreys at fly-half was first noticed while representing Wales U18 in 2010. His composure at fly-half earned him a spot in the Wales U20 team in 2010 and 2011. The 23-year-old's Test bow came three year later in 2014.


 Wing/Centre    1.94m    109kg     13.04.1992

North was born in England of a Yorkshire father and Welsh mother. He moved to North Wales aged just two, and is a fluent Welsh speaker. North became the first teenager from anywhere in the world to score 10 Test tries and was capped 21 times before his 20th birthday. He scored two tries in the three Tests on the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia in 2013. After that he joined English club Northampton Saints on a three-year contract from the Scarlets. North played in four matches in the 2015 Six Nations, scoring a hat-trick against Italy, before a concussion ruled him out for the rest of the season.


 Hooker    1.85m    109kg    03.01.1987

A captain for PRO12 side the Scarlets, Owens made his Test debut for Wales back in 2011 at the Rugby World Cup in the pool stage game with Namibia. Since then he has been a regular squad member for Wales, coming into his second World Cup with close to 30 caps. Owens spent a large portion of the 2014/2015 season struggling with injury but recovered in time to be included in Wales preliminary World Cup squad.


 Scrum-half    1.91m    101kg    29.08.1982

In 2013 Phillips surpassed the record of 76 caps set by Dwayne Peel as the most capped scrum-half for Wales. Between 2001 and 2011 he played for the Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and Ospreys before moving to France to join Bayonne and then Racing 92. He made his Test debut in 2003 and played for the British and Irish Lions in 2009 and 2013, winning five caps. The veteran now faces serious competition from Rhys Webb for the starting spot.


 Fly-half    1.82m    87kg    09.01.1987

Priestland came in to face England at short notice in the 2011 pre-World Cup warm-up games and his form saw him establish himself as first choice number 10 for the RWC. In 2012 he started eight consecutive Tests, however, injury then ruled him out of the Six Nations in 2013. He returned in November that year but missed the 2014 tour of South Africa. Priestland signed for Bath in 2015 and won four caps for Wales during the 2014/2015 season, three as a replacement.


 Centre    1.93m    110kg    08.11.1986

Roberts made his debut on the wing against Scotland at the start of the 2008 Grand Slam season but made the move to 12 on the tour to South Africa in 2009 and has become one of the best inside centres in the world. He played in all five of Wales' Six Nations games in 2012 and 2013 helping the side to a Grand Slam and two titles. In 2013 he toured with the British and Irish Lions for a second time and backed up his Player of the Series award from 2009. He joined French club Racing 92 in 2013 before returning to the United Kingdom with Harlequins in 2015. Roberts has won over 70 Test caps, including three for the Lions, and will be playing in his second World Cup.


 Flanker    1.88m    102kg    06.08.1989

Tipuric represented Wales at every age-grade level. He also spent a season with the Wales Sevens team before making his Test debut against Argentina in August 2011. He played in all five games of the Six Nations Championship winning campaign of 2013. He was a replacement as the British & Irish Lions won the series against Australia in 2013 and featured heavily in the 2015 Six Nations. 2015 will be his first World Cup after just missing out on the squad in 2011.


 Flanker    1.88m    106kg    05.10.1988

Warburton led the British and Irish Lions to Australia and their historic 2-1 victory against the Wallabies in 2013. He also captained Wales to the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and then the Grand Slam in 2012. He became the first player ever to sign a central contract with the Welsh Rugby Union in 2014. He made his 50th appearance for Wales in the first game of the 2015 Six Nations against England ahead of his second World Cup.


 Wing    1.83m    89kg    28.03.1992

A member of the Ospreys squad since 2010, Walker is an exciting young winger with plenty of pace and special footwork. Walker appeared for the Wales U16, U18 and U20 sides and was first called up to the senior squad in 2013 ahead of the Six Nations. Walker made his Test debut for Wales in 2015.


 Full-back    1.88m     87kg    09.04.1991

Ever since returning from the Junior World Championship in June 2011, Williams has been in and around the National Squad. He made his debut against the Barbarians in 2012. He started both Tests on the 2013 tour of Japan. He featured heavily for Wales in November 2013 and the 2014 Six Nations. Williams has been used as a winger by Wales during his last seven Test matches, including four starts out wide during the 2015 Six Nations after he replaced Alex Cuthbert. 


 Scrum-half    1.83m    87kg    30.11.1989 

Williams, the son of former Wales international Lloyd Williams, currently plays for Cardiff Blues. Williams represented Wales at U20 level and also played for the Wales sevens team. The 25-year-old made his debut for the Cardiff Blues in 2010 and as a result followed in his father's footsteps when he made his Test bow in 2011. Williams was mostly utilised off the bench at the 2011 Rugby World Cup and also in 2012 when Wales won the Six Nations competition.


 Centre    1.83m    97kg    10.10.1990

Williams plays at centre for the Scarlets. He has represented Wales U16, U18 and U20 and made his Test debut in 2011 and scored a great solo try against England in 2012 to help Wales win the Grand Slam. Williams has made more appearances for Wales as a replacement than starts, including three in the 2014/2015 season and two in the last two games of the 2015 Six Nations. He scored a hat-trick of tries for Wales against Namibia at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.