Wales interim head coach Robin McBryde says it is a “proud moment” for his squad, after four of their players were called up to the British and Irish Lions by head coach Warren Gatland.
Kristian Dacey, Gareth Davies, Cory Hill and Tomas Francis have all been summoned to add cover ahead of the Lions’ Test series next week against the All Blacks.
The move has proved controversial, with Gatland by adding players to his squad based more on geographical proximity than playing ability, as the quartet join the 11 Welshmen already with the squad after Ross Moriarty left the tour due to a back injury.
Dacey, Davies, Hill and Francis all started at Eden Park on Friday, but travelled to Rotorua on Saturday to watch the .
And, despite the controversy, McBryde is delighted to see his players being given the opportunity to impress at the highest level.
“We’ve said from the outset that we’re here to support the British and Irish Lions should they need it and we’re pleased to be able to do so now that four of our players have received call-ups,” he said.
“Kristian, Gareth, Cory and Tomas are great professionals who have made a very positive contribution to Wales’ tour so far, not least in Friday night’s game at Eden Park.
“This is a proud moment for them and the whole Wales squad wishes them the best of luck.”
After beginning their two-Test summer tour of the Pacific Islands with an emphatic victory over Tonga, Wales now seek to make it two wins on the bounce when they face Samoa in Apia.
Wales fielded nine uncapped players against Tonga and their squad to face Samoa will again have a youthful look, but McBryde has opted not to call up new faces.
He said: “I think we’re three deep where we need to be, especially in the front row and at scrum-half. Those are the specialist positions.
“We’ve got enough versatility in the back five and behind the scrum to deal with the call-ups.”