Wales have named eight Ospreys in the 35 man squad to travel to Poland next Monday for the second pre-2011 Rugby World Cup training camp of the month.
An initial squad of 42 met the fitness standards required of them for the first camp, with five players ruled out of that trip for various reasons – Gareth Delve, Stephen Jones, Dwayne Peel, (unavailable), Morgan Stoddart (thigh), and, although he flew out later as a replacement for the injured Jason Tovey (back), Richard Hibbard (shoulder).
Now the 100-times capped Jones is back in consideration after taking time out for the birth of his first child and, elsewhere, the training party has been reduced due to the different content and focus of the camp.
Joining Delve, Peel, Tovey and Hibbard and remaining in Wales on this occasion will be Scott Andrews, Andrew Bishop, Ken Owens, Andy Powell, Lou Reed, Richie Rees, Jonathan Thomas and John Yapp.
But head coach Warren Gatland is quick to point out that no players have been discarded from his plans at this stage.
“The door is still very much open for those players who are not making this trip,” said Gatland.
“This camp will have a strong focus on rugby whilst retaining the skills and conditioning elements of our first visit to Spala.
“It will give us further opportunity to see more of some players in particular in and intense rugby environment, with the likes of Ryan Bevington, Lloyd Burns, Justin Tipuric and Scott Williams all gaining an extra opportunity to show us their worth.
“The nature of the training regime next week meant we were always going to take a smaller group of players, because of the strong rugby element involved.
“The players on the camp have an opportunity to work hard and impress, but it will not be a case of out of sight out of mind for those players who remain at home.”
The Wales squad are utilising cryotherapy chambers at the widely respected Olympic training venue in Poland, which improves recovery to the extent that they are able to double their daily workloads during the 10-day camp.
On return from Spala, further announcements will follow in relation to the RWC warm-up fixtures against England at Twickenham on 6 August, the return fixture at the Millennium Stadium on 13 August and Argentina’s visit to the Welsh capital on 20 August.
The announcements and the eventual 30-man RWC squad, to be announced on 22 August, may include any player named in the original extended squad list and is not limited to those on this particular training camp in Poland.
RWC 2011 Spala Camp 2
Gethin Jenkins (Blues), Lloyd Burns (Dragons), Huw Bennett, Ryan Bevington, Adam Jones, Paul James (Ospreys), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Craig Mitchell (Exeter Chiefs)
Bradley Davies, Sam Warburton, Martyn Williams (Blues), Luke Charteris, Danny Lydiate, Toby Faletau (Dragons), Ryan Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Josh Turnbull, Rob McCusker (Scarlets)
Michael Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Blues), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets)
Jamie Roberts (Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), Jonathan Davies, Stephen Jones, Rhys Priestland, Scott Williams (Scarlets) Gavin Henson (unattached)
Leigh Halfpenny (Blues), Lee Byrne (ASM Clermont Auvergne), Aled Brew (Dragons), Shane Williams (Ospreys), George North, Morgan Stoddart (Scarlets)