Peel misses Wales cut

Wales coach Warren Gatland has left scrumhalf Dwayne Peel out of his Six Nations squad.

Mike Phillips remains the incumbent No 9 for the tournament title holders while Gatland has opted for the less experienced Gareth Cooper to provide cover at halfback.

“[Scrum-half is] a decision that we debated long and hard and the result is really difficult, it probably boiled down to the fact that Mike Phillips has played more rugby than Dwayne Peel since the autumn,” said Gatland.

“But it doesn’t mean that the door is always going to be shut for him or anyone.”

Centre Gavin Henson is back in the mix after missing the November internationals with an injury. Cardiff Blues lock Bradley Davies is the only uncapped player in the 28-man squad.

“We’ve tried to keep the squad relatively similar to the last Six Nations campaign. Part of that philosophy is to keep everything nice and tight and everyone in the squad feeling there is an opportunity to play for Wales and also make it difficult for people to come into the squad – make players really earn the right.”

Wales squad – Forwards: Gethin Jenkins, John Yapp, Adam Jones, Rhys Thomas, Matthew Rees, Huw Bennett, Ian Gough, Alun-Wyn Jones, Luke Charteris, Bradley Davies, Ryan Jones (c), Jonathan Thomas, Dafydd Jones, Andy Powell, Martyn Williams, Robin Sowden-Taylor.

Backs: Mike Phillips, Gareth Cooper, Stephen Jones, James Hook, Gavin Henson, Andrew Bishop, Jamie Roberts, Tom Shanklin, Shane Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Mark Jones, Lee Byrne.