Six Nations: Sam Warburton and Gethin Jenkins both named in Wales squad

Last Updated: 15/01/14 5:53pm

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Gethin Jenkins picked up an injury at the weekend

Gethin Jenkins picked up an injury at the weekend

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Captain Sam Warburton and prop Gethin Jenkins are both in the Wales squad for this season's Six Nations, even though the key duo are both currently nursing injuries.

And Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies, who is not expected back in action until early March due to a chest muscle injury, is also in a 32-man squad which contains no uncapped players.

Wales are looking to become the first country in Six Nations history to win the title for a third year in a row and Warren Gatland's side will kick-off their campaign at home to Italy on February 1.

Warburton led the Lions to victory in Australia over the summer under Gatland and is expected back shortly, having been suffering from a shoulder injury.

The experienced Jenkins went off with an injured knee during Cardiff Blues' loss to Toulon last weekend and he went for a scan on Monday in an attempt to determine the extent of the problem.

Centre Jamie Roberts missed the autumn internationals due to injury but is expected to return to action for Racing Metro on Sunday and has been named in the squad.

Dan Biggar (Ospreys) and Rhys Priestland (Scarlets) are likely to vie for the starting berth at fly-half, although the versatile James Hook (Perpignan) is also in the squad.

But Cardiff scrum-half Lloyd Williams misses out behind Gatland's preferred trio of Mike Phillips, Rhodri Williams and fit-again Ospreys number nine Rhys Webb.

History

Gatland said: "We have got an opportunity to create history, and that is something we will focus on and something that will give us extra motivation.

"We have got the three games at home and two tough away games (Ireland and England) but, when we won the Grand Slam in 2008 and 2012, we had these fixtures, so we know it can be done.

"The Six Nations is always a tough competition. You need a little bit of luck and momentum, and that's why we need to start well against Italy first up.

"We've picked a pretty experienced squad and kept it fairly tight at this stage.

"There is a possibility we may add one or two players in. There are a few younger guys that need a bit of rugby, so we were keen for them to stay with the region.

"Perhaps, after the first couple of rounds, when they have some more rugby under their belts, we may add them into the squad."

The four professional regions in Wales are currently in dispute with the Welsh Rugby Union but Gatland does not expect the situation to have an impact on his team.

"We know there are some politics going on at the moment but we will put that to one side, come together as a group, and focus on the rugby and what we can control," he said.

"We can't wait to kick off the tournament at home against Italy."

Backs: L Williams (Scarlets), L Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), G North (Northampton), A Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), S Williams (Scarlets), J Roberts (Racing Metro), J Davies (Scarlets), J Hook (Perpignan), R Priestland (Scarlets), D Biggar (Ospreys), M Phillips (Racing Metro), R Williams (Scarlets), R Webb (Ospreys).

Forwards: P James (Bath), G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), R Bevington (Ospreys), A Jones (Ospreys), S Lee (Scarlets), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), R Hibbard (Ospreys), K Owens (Scarlets), E Phillips (Scarlets), A-W Jones (Ospreys), L Charteris (Perpignan), I Evans (Ospreys), A Coombs (Newport Gwent Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), J Tipuric (Ospreys), S Warburton (Cardiff Blues, capt), D Lydiate (Racing Metro), A Shingler (Scarlets), T Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

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