Injured Faletau included in Wales squad

Taulupe Faletau has been included in Rob Howley's Wales squad for their November internationals despite being sidelined with a medial ligament injury.

The number eight was ruled out for up to eight weeks after sustaining the injury in Bath's 18-14 victory over Northampton Saints on September 3.

Although Faletau is yet to return to competitive action, Howley hopes he will be able to play a part in the latter stages of the four-Test campaign.

"Taulupe is still in his rehab process and has been working closely with Bath," said Howley.

"We hope he will be available in the later part of the campaign, but his experience will be vitally important to have around the squad."

Faletau is one of three wildcard picks under the Welsh Rugby Union's new player selection policy, with George North of Northampton and Harlequins' Jamie Roberts taking the other spots.

Rhys Priestland consequently misses out, opening the door for Ospreys fly-half Sam Davies to receive his first cap along with club-mate Rory Thornton.

Alex Cuthbert, Leigh Halfpenny and Dan Lydiate all return after injuries kept them out of the previous tour to New Zealand.

Howley added: "It is great to give the opportunity to players who are playing well for their clubs with the likes of Nicky Smith, Rhys Gill, Rory Thornton and Sam Davies coming into the squad.

"In addition it's great to be able to welcome back experienced players such as Dan Lydiate, Alex Cuthbert and Leigh Halfpenny, who have missed out recently with injury and that experience will be important."

Wales first Test sees them entertain Australia at the Principality Stadium on November 5, with matches against Argentina and Japan preceding their final fixture with South Africa.

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