Wales coach Warren Gatland has defended his decision not to pick any Dragons players in his squad for this summer's Tests with world champions South Africa and the tour of New Zealand.
Gatland’s 27-man selections consists entirely of players from the Blues, Scarlets and Ospreys with flanker Andy Powell, who was dropped from the squad for drunken behaviour during the RBS 6 Nations, returning to the fold and three uncapped Scarlets players earning a call-up.
But while the Dragons finished ten points clear of the Scarlets in this season’s Magners League, the Welsh coach opted against selecting any players from Rodney Parade.
Gatland admits second row Luke Charteris and flanker Dan Lydiate would have got the nod if fully fit but insists a number of Dragons players were still on the fringes of the squad.
“It may have kept criticism down if I’d selected more Dragons,” said Gatland.
“There are quite a few players who are unlucky and a number from the Dragons.
“Luke and Dan were two certainties if they had not been injured and we’re really pleased with the way that Aled Brew has been playing.
“He would have been very close to selection if he hadn’t picked up an injury. There are one or two others who are very close and part of the standby squad.”