Jamie Roberts has been named Wales captain for Test matches against Tonga and Samoa next month, the Welsh Rugby Union has announced.
Roberts – capped 91 times by Wales — toured with the British and Irish Lions to South Africa in 2009 and then to Australia four years later, but missed out on this year’s Lions squad.
“I am immensely honoured to be named captain of Wales for this year’s summer tour,” said Roberts.
“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 am 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.”
Jamie Roberts has 91 caps for Wales since making his debut in 2008. David Rogers/Getty Images
The Wales group features 13 uncapped players, with many of them having come through the Under-20s system.
The list of rookies includes Ospreys wing Keelan Giles, Scarlets speedster Steff Evans and Wasps flanker Thomas Young, in addition to Gloucester-bound Leicester back Owen Williams.
Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson has withdrawn from the Wales coaching staff for their summer Tests against Tonga and Samoa.
A delay to ground works at Tonga’s national stadium has seen World Rugby move their scheduled match against Wales in June.
Wales, who are without 12 players selected for the Lions squad, face Tonga in Auckland on June 16, then Samoa in Apia seven days later.
Robin McBryde heads up the Wales coaching team with Warren Gatland and Rob Howley on British and Irish Lions duty in New Zealand.
McBryde’s squad is made up of 14 backs and 18 forwards, but there is no international recall for hooker Richard Hibbard.
“We’ve got a good mix of experience and youth in this squad,” said McBryde.
“The senior players will be expected to display their leadership qualities, and we want the younger men to show they’ve got what it takes to handle the intense international environment.”
Wales squad for Tests matches against Tonga in Auckland on June 16 and Samoa in Apia on June 23:
Backs: C Allen (Cardiff), G Anscombe (Cardiff), A Cuthbert (Cardiff), A Davies (Scarlets), G Davies (Scarlets), Sam Davies (Ospreys), S Evans (Scarlets), K Giles (Ospreys), T Morgan (Newport Gwent Dragons), J Roberts (Harlequins, captain), O Williams (Leicester), R Williams (Cardiff), S WIlliams (Scarlets), T Williams (Cardiff).
Forwards: S Baldwin (Ospreys), J Ball (Scarlets), A Beard (Ospreys), K Dacey (Cardiff), Seb Davies (Cardiff), R Elias (Scarlets), R Evans (Scarlets), T Francis (Exeter), O Griffiths (Newport Gwent Dragons), C Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons), E Jenkins (Cardiff), W Jones (Scarlets), J King (Ospreys), S Lee (Scarlets), J Navidi (Cardiff), N Smith (Ospreys), R Thornton (Ospreys), T Young (Wasps).
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