A PEMBROKESHIRE rugby player has been named in Wales’ squad for the forthcoming Six Nations championship.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has today – January 16 – announced the 34-man squad to feature in the championship which begins with a clash against Scotland in Cardiff on February 3.

Haverfordwest-born Kemsley Mathias is the only Pembrokeshire native to be named in the squad – after fellow Scarlet Josh Macloed from Fishguard was injured in the Scarlets’ clash with Clermont at the weekend. The severity of his injury is set to be assessed this week.

Elsewhere in the squad, Dafydd Jenkins has been named captain of a relatively inexperienced and young squad, with 21 – including Mathias who has one cap – currently sitting at under 20 caps including five uncapped players, with the average age of 25. Dafydd is set to be the second youngest men’s player to lead Wales and has just 12 caps.

Mathias could make his first Six Nations appearance during the squad after making his international debut in a pre-World Cup friendly against England in the summer of 2023. He joins Keiron Assiratti, Corey Domachowski, Cai Evans, Joe Roberts, Teddy Williams, Sam Costelow and Ioan Lloyd in hoping to make their Six Nations debuts after winning caps previously.

Five uncapped players have also been named in the squad, including Alex Mann, Mackenzie Martin, Evan Lloyd and Cameron Winnett all from Cardiff Rugby alongside Bath Rugby’s Archie Griffin.

There is some experience with the likes of George North (118 caps) and Gareth Davies (74 caps).

Gatland said: “There’s a little bit of experience in terms of players like George North and Gareth Davies – we wanted a little bit of continuity with that and we’re also thinking about the next RWC cycle and giving some youngsters an opportunity, some youngsters that are not featuring regularly for their club sides.

“I’m really excited about those youngsters and that opportunity to develop them over the next four years. The average age of the squad is about 25 compared to a little bit older during RWC and then you look at this next cycle and you want to get those players to mid to late 20s in terms of experience and age.”

On Jenkins as captain, Gatland said: “We’ve been incredibly impressed with Daf in terms of his professionalism and how he prepares. It’s a great opportunity for Daf, he’s captained Exeter on a number of occasions, he’s a well-respected member of the squad.

“I rang and spoke to him, and he was absolutely delighted to accept the role and I’m sure that he’ll do a great job and get a huge amount of support from the rest of the squad.”

Wales squad for the 2024 Guinness Six Nations: Forwards: Corey Domachowski (6 caps), Kemsley Mathias (1 cap), Gareth Thomas (26 caps), Elliot Dee (46 caps), Ryan Elias (38 caps), Evan Lloyd (uncapped), Keiron Assiratti (2 caps), Leon Brown (23 caps), Archie Griffin (uncapped), Adam Beard (51 caps), Dafydd Jenkins (12 caps. Captain), Will Rowlands (29 caps), Teddy Williams (1 cap), Taine Basham (16 caps), James Botham (9 caps), Alex Mann (uncapped), Mackemzie Martin (uncapped), Tommy Reffell (13 caps), Aaron Wainwright (43 caps).

Backs: Gareth Davies (74 caps), Kieran Hardy (18 caps), Tomos Williams (53 caps), Sam Costelow (8 caps), Cai Evans (1 cap), Ioan Lloyd (2 caps), Mason Grady (6 caps), George North (118 caps), Joe Roberts (1 cap), Nick Tompkins (32 caps), Owen Watkin (36 caps), Josh Adams (53 caps), Rio Dyer (14 caps), Tom Rogers (3 caps), Cameron Winnett (uncapped).

The squad will meet for training to begin on Monday, January 22 at the training base in Hensol.

Wales will face Scotland at the Principality Stadium in a sold-out clash at 4.45pm on Saturday, February 3, 2024, before facing England away at Twickenham at 4.45pm on Saturday, February 10.

On Saturday, February 24, Wales will face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin at 2.15pm, before two home games at the Principality Stadium against France (Sunday, March 10, 3pm) and Italy (Saturday, March 16, 2.15pm). Tickets are available for the France and Italy games at www.wru.wales/tickets.