When Warren Gatland named his 42-strong Wales World Cup training squad on Tuesday, just as much focus was on the players left out than the ones included.
And though the World Cup door remains open to those with major injury battles to be won, others look to have finally run their international race with Wales.
We give you the Wales XV Gatland could pick from those currently not in the World Cup selection mix…..
15. DAN EVANS
The Ospreys full-back is just like a Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir – getting better with age.
But there seems little chance of the Welsh management team reaching for the corkscrew anytime soon to decant his silky running and nose for the try-line to the Test stage.
In imperious form for his region and has a growing fan club, but this Welsh regime are not interested.
14. LUKE MORGAN
Transferred his Welsh Sevens skills into the 15-a-side game with the Ospreys with a strike rate of 10 tires from 20 games none too shabby.
The 26-year-old was a shock call-up to the Wales squad for the autumn internationals – but then missed out on the Six Nations.
Made his autumn bow against Scotland less than two months after his first appearance for the Ospreys but barely got a touch of the ball.
It’s been downhill ever since.
13. TYLER MORGAN/OWEN WILLIAMS
A choice of two at 13 really. Dragons centre Morgan has put up with medical issues you wouldn’t expect to see from a seasoned international let alone a 23-year-old yet to reach the peak of his rugby powers.
Having said that, he was not included in the initial squad for the 2015 World Cup but came in because of injuries to play against Fiji and in the quarter-final defeat to South Africa.
Williams was brought into the 2017 autumn internationals to a huge fanfare and acquitted himself more than just well against the Wallabies and All Blacks. But has since fallen off the international map and has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury picked up in training at Gloucester.
12. JAMIE ROBERTS
Playing with vim and vigour at Bath with the west country giants, like Wales, seeing the benefits of the metres Roberts eats up with those trademark defence-splitting carries.
But it’s not been enough for Roberts who had desperately hoped to be included in this wider party despite being left out of recent squads.
Barring injuries to others, the international career of this great Lion appears over.
11. ALED SUMMERHILL/KEELAN GILES
Either or here.
The Blues may have Josh Adams and Hallam Amos coming their way next season but Summerhill and fellow Owen Lane, who has made the Welsh training squad, are not about to give up the jersey without a fight.
Has a strike rate of 10 tries from 15 games illustrates just that.
Giles is back getting up to speed after major injury issues that have limited the Osprey to just 22 appearances in the last two seasons.
There are signs he’s getting back to the form that earmarked him as a multi-capped international in the making.
Wales’ road to the Rugby World Cup
Bath were linked with all and sundry to replace the former Scarlets No.10 this summer with the likes of Handre Pollard, Aaron Cruden and Gareth Anscombe among those mentioned in despatches.
But after indicating in January that he would leave the club, Priestland last month signed a new two-year deal at The Rec.
The 50-times capped 32-year-old, who is not eligible for Wales due to the 60-cap rule, hasn’t exactly been ripping up trees in the last few weeks, but then again neither has Bath.
Sam Davies at the Ospreys would be another option for the 10 shirt in this team of players who didn’t quite make it.
9. RHYS WEBB
Could Wales’ 60-cap selection policy come back to haunt them at this World Cup?
Webb was the highest profile casualty on the new guidelines for players plying their trade when he joined Toulon from the Ospreys last summer.
And though his move across the Channel didn’t go swimmingly early on with injury and family issues, he produced the form on the weekend that could well have lit up the World Cup stage as Toulon trounced Bordeaux-Begles 45-17 in the Top 14 at the Stade Mayol.
1. RHYS GILL/RHODRI JONES
Gill may just have seven caps, but the 32-year-old is a multi-decorated front-rower with Saracens picking up three Premiership-winning medals.
A solid citizen in the set-piece Gill is now in his second spell with the Blues having returned to the Arms Park in 2016.
Jones has 17 matches under his belt for the Ospreys this term and the same number of caps for Wales, having made his debut against the Barbarians in 2012.
Last capped against South Africa on their 2018 summer tour.
2. SCOTT BALDWIN/KRISTIAN DACEY
Harlequins-bound Baldwin is getting back to somewhere near the form that earned the Bridgend-born hooker 34 caps and five appearances in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The Ospreys hasn’t played for Wales since their 2017 summer tour clash with Samoa, in Apia, but has had major issues to grapple with since then, most notably nearly losing his hand after the well-documented lion bite in South Africa became infected.
Dacey was touted for a return to the Welsh squad after the last of his eight caps came against the Springboks in their 2017 autumn international victory.
Appointed skipper at the Arms Park following the knee injury to Ellis Jenkins in the 2018 autumn series and recently signed a new “long term” deal to stay at the region.
3. WILLGRIFF JOHN
Has all the attributes to be a smash hit on the Test scene.
The slab of Plymouth rock tips the scales at 20st 7lb and takes the tape measure all the way out to 6ft 3ins. Has been a revelation in the Sale front-row this term earning a reputation for his work at the breakdown, solid scrummaging and hefty horsepower in lineout drives.
Raised in Ferndale, the Wales Under-20 international began his career with Pontypridd and went on to play for Cardiff Blues and then had a spell playing in New Zealand. He’s penned a deal to keep him at Salford until 2021.
Capped by Wales at all age grade levels from under-16 to under-20s.
4. SEB DAVIES
The emergence of Adam Beard in that time and the consistent displays of Cory Hill has seen the 22-year-old slip down the second-row pecking order, despite offering utility value being able to play No.8.
5. LUKE CHARTERIS/JOSH TURNBULL
Bath lock Charteris was earmarked as a potential World Cup player when picked for the 2018 summer tour, only to be withdrawn after Premiership Rugby refused to sanction his participation for the South Africa clash.
Been used sparingly by the west country club this season through ongoing medical issues but when he does have game time it’s more often than not as captain. Now looks set to retire this summer and take up a coaching role with Bath.
The Wales international who now has three Six Nations winners medals despite not playing a single minute.
Turnbull’s one and only Six Nations appearance came in a victory over Scotland at Murrayfield in 2011.
6. DAN LYDIATE
The 31-year-old Test Lion has been bedevilled by a savage run of injuries which has seen him sidelined for five months this season.
He had been all set to figure for Wales against South Africa in the autumn when he succumbed to an elbow problem that caused him to withdraw on the day of the game. He has been battling to recover ever since and the odds looked stacked up against him as a candidate for the World Cup this autumn.
But Lydiate is fit again and returned to action this month off the bench during the Ospreys’ 31-14 win over the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
7. THOMAS YOUNG/SAM LEWIS/DAN THOMAS
It’s a perm one from three outstanding English-based opensides.
Influential Wasps flanker Young would be the choice here, unless he was utilised elsewhere in the back row.
He was handed a belated call-up to Wales’ 2019 Six Nations squad and added to two 2017 summer tour caps with a tournament bow against Italy in Rome.
Didn’t play again for the Grand Slam winners and was back playing a starring role for Wasps in the Gallagher Premiership before his season was cut short by a foot/ankle injury. Still has an outside chance of a call-up if he proves his fitness.
Lewis has been a revelation in helping Worcester Warriors win their fight to stay in the Gallagher Premiership this season.
The former Osprey is just six short of Sale Sharks’ Jono Ross in being the Premiership’s most prolific tackler this season with Lewis having 287 hits to his name.
Thomas has been equally as eye-catching at Bristol in a Bears team boasting All Blacks and mega-bucks contracts.
8. ELLIS JENKINS
Jenkins had surgery to repair the serious knee injury picked up near the end of their autumn international victory over the Springboks.
In the closing moments of Wales’ 20-11 victory over South Africa, Jenkins fell awkwardly as he was cleared out of a ruck by two Springboks.
He was carted from the field after the final whistle inhaling painkilling gas – and faced a race to be fit in time for the Rugby World Cup.
Given the way he played in that match the Blues back-rower he would be nailed on for a call-up if he can prove he’s fit enough later in the summer. That’s a big if though at this stage.
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