Warren Gatland has called up uncapped back-row forward Taine Plumtree to Walesโ€™ World Cup training squad for a two-week camp in Switzerland.

Plumtree is part of a group that has travelled to Fiesch in the Swiss Alps, the Welsh Rugby Union said.

The 23-year-old was born in Swansea and is the son of former Ireland, Japan and New Zealand assistant coach John Plumtree.

A New Zealand Under-20 international, he has played Super Rugby for the Auckland-based Blues and will link up with the Scarlets next season.

Wales head coach Gatland has seen his back-row options hit by Justin Tipuric retiring from Test rugby and Josh Macleod suffering a shoulder injury.

And Plumtree now has a golden opportunity to showcase World Cup credentials ahead of Gatland announcing his final 33-strong squad next month.

Gatland said: โ€œWeโ€™ve called up Taine Plumtree to the squad to give him an opportunity.


โ€œI spoke to Taine about three weeks ago about the possibility. He seemed pretty excited.

โ€œHe was born in Swansea, has come through the New Zealand system and is also eligible for South Africa as well with a South African mum.

โ€œFor us, given that weโ€™ve had Josh Macleod pull out of the squad due to injury, some players unavailable and Taulupe Faletau has picked up a bit of an injury, we thought it was a great opportunity for Taine to come in.

โ€œHe is a six-foot five-inch back-row forward โ€“ we donโ€™t have a lot of those in Wales. Whether he makes the World Cup squad or not, he is definitely a player we want to keep in mind for the future.

โ€œPotentially, that is later down the track with the Six Nations, but he gets a chance to come in and we just know how excited he is to get the opportunity to come in and take that chance with us out in Switzerland.โ€

Wing Alex Cuthbert and fly-half Owen Williams, meanwhile, have not made the trip due to personal reasons.

Taulupe FaletauWales number eight Taulupe Faletau is managing a calf muscle injury (David Davies/PA)

And number eight Faletau is expected to join the group next week as he continues his recovery from a calf muscle injury.

Wales will head to Turkey later this month for a second overseas camp before two World Cup warm-up games in August against England and a Principality Stadium appointment with South Africa.

Walesโ€™ opening World Cup fixture sees them face Fiji in Bordeaux on September 10.