Cory Hill’s inclusion in Wales’ wider World Cup training squad wasn’t a total surprise.
There had been whispers that Warren Gatland would look to the man he occasionally trusted to captain his country, with the 6src-cap rule no longer an obstacle for Japan-based Hill now the benchmark has been reduced to 25.
Of course, given how Hill left Wales two years ago, under a dark cloud after being involved in an unsavoury incident which resulted in a woman’s home getting damaged, there will be some who do not want the second-row to resume his Test career – not without, at the very least, some sort of public show of contrition.
That may come or it may not, with Hill having apologised at the time through his representative, but it doesn’t change the fact that, nearly two-and-a-half years after his last cap, Hill is back in the mix.
Clearly, there’s a reason for Gatland to have selected the former Dragons and Cardiff man after two years in Japan with Yokohama Canon Eagles.
Speaking after naming his 54-man squad, the Wales coach explained his reasoning, saying: “His experience, what he’s provided us in the past.
“He’s an outstanding line-out caller, gives us that mobility and athleticism in that tight five and I think he’ll put some real pressure on the other second rows. Will Rowlands will also give us that experience and competition in that second row.”
Competition in the second-row is certainly useful, given how the position has been an area lacking depth in recent years. Will Rowlands is back and is arguably Wales’ best option in the boiler room, while Adam Beard has b
…. to be continued
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