Warren Gatland has announced his 35-man Wales squad that will head to Poland on Saturday to begin training for this year's Six Nations tournament, rugbyworld.com reports.
Following Wales' success in last year's Rugby World Cup, few were expecting Gatland to ring the changes. They were proven right when Gatland and assistant Rob Howley, dressed formally in designer menswear, announced a largely unchanged line up.
Amongst those who have been called up for first-time international duties are Scarlets lock Lou Reed, Blues wing Harry Robinson; as well as in-form Ospreys pair Ashley beck and Rhys Webb. Stephen Jones has been dropped from selection, whilst Alun Wyn Jones and Luke Charteris are amongst those not selected through injury.
The squad will travel to Gdansk in Poland for an intensive training programme, which includes using cryotherapy chambers to freeze tired limbs and help them recover faster; allowing for more training each day. The technique was put to good effect ahead of the World Cup, which also saw the national squad take part in a similar two-week training session.
"We have had to strike a balance with this squad," Wales' head coach, Warren Gatland, told wru.co.uk. "The majority are those players who excelled for Wales during the Rugby World Cup, but [we] are also taking the opportunity to look at one or two youngsters before probably cutting our numbers even further before the start of the RBS Six Nations.
"These are exciting times for Welsh rugby. We showed a huge amount of potential at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and we will be working as hard as humanly possible to ensure that we reach our potential in this year's Six Nations Championship."