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Wales rugby coach Warren Gatland has declared his squad “good enough to win the World Cup” after including lock Corey Hill as a surprise selection in his 31 heading to Japan.
The second-rower has not played for the Six Nations champions since February and has yet to prove his fitness after returning from a fractured leg.
Gatland has included the 27-year-old Hill as one of four locks in his 31-man squad. The others are captain Alun Wyn Jones, Jake Ball and Adam Beard.
Hill will not be ready to play until at least the second Pool D game against Australia on September. 29, but the Wales coach says that’s a risk he’s prepared to take, with loose forward Aaron Shingler also able to cover the lock position.
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Gatland has gone with five props in his squad, rather than the six some had been anticipating, in the form of Nicky Smith, Wyn Jones, Rhys Carre, Tomas Francis and Dillon Lewis.
“Our original thinking was six props but we’ve gone with five,” Gatland told reporters at his squad announcement. “There always has to be a compromise in the squad. We’ll be doing some work with Wyn Jones in terms of covering that tighthead position.”
Carre won his first international cap in Saturday’s 22-17 defeat to Ireland in Cardiff but has got
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