These are the players who could change Warren Gatland's mind at Judgement Day

-Credit: (Image: Gruffydd Thomas/Huw Evans Agency)
-Credit: (Image: Gruffydd Thomas/Huw Evans Agency)


Warren Gatland will name his squad for summer Test matches against South Africa and Australia next week, which means Judgement Day will be the final audition for many players.

The reality is Gatland will already have settled on the majority of his squad, but there are bound to be a handful of places still up for grabs. Gatland and his assistant coaches will be in attendance at Cardiff City Stadium to watch the Ospreys take on Cardiff and the Scarlets face the Dragons, so any standout performances could settle 50/50 selection dilemmas.

So, what players have the most to gain and a lot to lose at Judgement Day? With regards the Wales squad Gatland is likely to select there may be an opening in the back three for a bolter.

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With Louis Rees-Zammit having moved across the pond to try his hand in the NFL and doubts surrounding the fitness of both Josh Adams and Six Nations squad member Tom Rogers, there is space in the back-three. In-form Gloucester speedster Josh Hathaway will certainly be under consideration, but there may also be an opportunity for both Keelan Giles or Theo Cabango, who go head-to-head on Saturday.

When Giles sat on the Wales bench against Japan as a teenager in 2017 he looked almost certain to represent his country on many occasions, but seven years have passed and he has yet to win a cap. The 26-year-old has been in red-hot form for the Ospreys, has scored nine times this season and is absolutely deadly when put into space.

Historically there have been question marks surrounding his defence and aerial ability but he has shown improvement in these areas over the past season. If the Ospreys can put him into space then another try-scoring performance could persuade Gatland to give him an opportunity.

Cabango is an interesting one given he has missed a large chunk of the season due to a shoulder injury but he has looked very good since his return. The 22-year-old put in an eye-catching performance - scoring two tries - in Cardiff's controversial last-gasp defeat to Ulster in Belfast last month.

Cabango has electric footwork, has top-end pace and is a deadly finisher but he now looks like he has the physicality to make his mark on the professional game. Since returning from injury the Cardiff wing has looked significantly more powerful and explosive which has added another string to his bow.

Not too dissimilar to Giles, what he needs to show is some improvement off the ball. Not many people will identify Giles against Cabango as a key head-to-head but a strong performance from either could force Gatland's hand.

It'll also be interesting to see the make-up of Gatland's midfield this summer, but four players who have it all to play for at Cardiff City Stadium are Keiran Williams, Ben Thomas, Johnny Williams and Eddie James. Perhaps Scarlets centre Williams is the one with the most to prove.

The 27-year-old is a very effective ball carrier with good footwork and during his injury-enforced absences the Scarlets have suffered. But despite his effectiveness at regional level he has not really made a mark on the international game in his seven appearances to date in a Wales shirt.

Of course, it must be noted he has never had a consistent run of games at Test level, but centre is one position where Wales are beginning to build some strength in depth, and Williams needs to show he has more than one string to his bow if he his to persuade Gatland he is worthy of a ticket to Australia. His namesake at the Ospreys is also someone who has never fully impressed the national coaches.

Williams has been in outstanding form for the Ospreys this season but one senses he needs to do something extraordinary on Saturday to force his way into the squad. Scarlets centre James has been a bright light in a very dark season in Llanelli but the 21-year-old has the size, explosive power and the offloading game to one day make the step up to Test rugby.

Thomas is the really interesting one. He is a lovely footballer with a tremendous passing game and tons of peripheral vision, while he offers something different from the other centres in the Wales squad.

Coming out on top in his head-to-head with Williams will do his chances of selection for the summer tour no harm at all. They aren't playing against each other on Saturday, but Taine Basham and James Botham are two players who need to outshine one another.

With Jac Morgan, Taine Plumtree and Christ Tshiunza returning from injury it would be a surprise if Gatland selected both Basham and Botham this summer. Morgan and Tommy Reffell will be the out-and-out opensides in the squad, while you'd expect both Plumtree and Tshiunza to be included, leaving one of Botham or Basham to cover the whole back-row.

And of course it's another opportunity for Morgan Morris to make one last push for international selection. Yes, three of the regions have nothing tangible to play for, but expect both derbies to be hotly-contested affairs in front of Gatland's watchful eye.