WAYNE Pivac believes the 60-cap rule is going to lead to an influx of Welsh talent to the regional game after naming ten England-based players in his squad for the Six Nations.

The new Wales boss has selected Ospreys-bound Toulon scrum-half Rhys Webb in his 38-strong group for the tournament along with a glut of Gallagher Premiership talent.

Up front he has called up Saracens loosehead Rhys Carre, Sale tighthead WillGriff John, Wasps lock Will Rowlands and Bath number eight Taulupe Faletau.

Behind the scrum he has called up Northampton fly-half Dan Biggar, Gloucester fly-half/centre Owen Williams, Saracens centre Nick Tompkins and back three options Louis Rees-Zammit, Jonah Holmes and Scarlets-bound Liam Williams from Gloucester, Leicester and Saracens respectively.

The Welsh Rugby Union's senior player selection policy means that individuals who have already been capped will only still be available for Test rugby if they have made 60 international appearances.

That led to Josh Adams signing for Cardiff Blues from Worcester last season, while Rhodri Williams and Jordan Williams signed for the Dragons in the summer of 2018 with the hope of forcing their way back into the Wales set-up.

Pivac revealed that as Scarlets boss he tried to sign both Rowlands and Tompkins, who is under contract at Saracens until 2022 and previously played for England at age-grade level.

Penarth Times:

"The first thing we do is to check whether they are eligible, the situation around contracts, Tests or no Tests," said the head coach.

"He hasn't played Tests so fits into the selection criteria. As you've seen in the past with Josh Adams coming back, Rhys Webb coming back, I think the (60-cap) policy is working.

"You're going to see over the next 12, 24 or 36 months more players who represent Wales or being selected slowly drifting back to Wales. That can only be good for the clubs and Wales."

The Test team will benefit from the due diligence that Pivac did when looking for new recruits as a club boss.

"Purely from an individual basis I've been looking at players both inside and outside Wales for the last five or five and a half years for the Scarlets," he said.

"In the last 18 months I've done it from a Welsh perspective and I've been looking at them for a long time. I've been preparing teams to play against them and know their strengths and weaknesses.

"Tomkins has been on the Scarlets' radar for some time, as has Will Rowlands. I approached him and his agent twice before as a Scarlets coach and so I know a lot about him.

"It's not just based on a couple of games this season. Stephen (Jones) coached at Wasps when Will was there a few years ago.

"He was impressed by his athleticism and rugby intelligence and the size he brings. He's a big, mobile man at 2m plus and 120 odd kilos. That's an asset to any team."


Backs: G Davies (Scarlets), R Webb (Toulon), T Williams (Cardiff Blues), D Biggar (Northampton), O Williams (Gloucester), J Evans (Cardiff Blues), H Parkes (Scarlets), N Tompkins (Saracens), O Watkin (Ospreys), G North (Ospreys), J Adams (Cardiff Blues), O Lane (Cardiff Blues), J McNicholl (Scarlets), L Rees-Zammit (Gloucester), J Holmes (Leicester), L Halfpenny (Scarlets), L Williams (Saracens).

Forwards: R Carre (Saracens), R Evans (Scarlets), W Jones (Scarlets), L Brown (Dragons), W John (Sale Sharks), D Lewis (Blues), E Dee (Dragons), R Elias (Scarlets), K Owens (Scarlets), J Ball (Scarlets), A Beard (Ospreys), S Davies (Blues), A W Jones (Ospreys, captain), W Rowlands (Wasps), C Hill (Dragons), A Shingler (Scarlets), A Wainwright (Dragons), J Navidi (Blues), J Tipuric (Ospreys), T Faletau (Bath), R Moriarty (Dragons).