Where the Wales Possible v Probables XVs are now, 10 years on from Gatland trial

-Credit: (Image: Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans Agency)
-Credit: (Image: Chris Fairweather/Huw Evans Agency)


When Warren Gatland names his squad for this summer's international programme against South Africa and Australia next week, selection will be based on recent form at club and Test level - but back in 2014, he took a very different approach.

Ahead of the tour to South Africa in 2014, the Welsh Rugby Union organised a trial match in Swansea with Gatland selecting a Wales Probables and Possibles team in a bid to see who was up to Test level rugby just over a year out from the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Of course, this was not some fresh idea with similar trial matches taking place relatively often in the amateur era, while Graham Henry organised something similar when he was in charge of Wales back in 2000.

SIGN UP: Get the new exclusive Inside Welsh rugby newsletter for full insight into what's really going on around all the big issues. This special offer will get you full access for the entire year for just £10 instead of £40.

In 2014, the Probables side was coached by Rob Howley while the Possibles were coached by Robin McBryde. Unsurprisingly, the Probables ran out 55-7 winners in front of a full house at the Swansea.Com Stadium.

The squad was named shortly after the match, with Jordan Williams, Scott Baldwin, Matthew Morgan and Steven Shingler sneaking in after their performances in the trial match. Ten years on from the fixture, we take a look at what became of the players involved on both sides.

Probables

15. Liam Williams

A decade ago, Williams was three years into his international career but the Waunarlwydd product went on to become one of the finest full-backs in the world game. Williams has won 89 caps for Wales, winning four Six Nations titles while he also toured with British & Irish Lions to New Zealand in 2017 and South Africa in 2021.

Enjoyed two stints at the Scarlets, where he won the PRO12 in 2017, before heading to Saracens where he won the English Premiership and Champions Cup. After enjoying a season at Cardiff, Williams now plies his trade for Kubota Spears in Japan and is keen to prolong his international career.

14. Alex Cuthbert

Cuthbert has won 57 caps for Wales, winning two Six Nations titles and starred on the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour of Australia. Left Cardiff for Exeter Chiefs where he was involved in squads which won both the Premiership and Champions Cup.

Returned to Wales with the Ospreys, but it was recently announced he was leaving the Swansea based side. The 34-year-old is the co-founder of the Sportin Wales magazine and is a regular guest on the BBC's ScrumV programme.

13. Jonathan Davies

Widely regarded as one of the finest outside centres of the modern era. Won 96 caps for Wales, winning four Six Nations titles, while he also figured prominently for the British & Irish Lions on the 2013 tour of Australia and 2017 tour of New Zealand. The 36-year-old recently announced he was leaving the Scarlets at the end of the season and is hopeful to continue his professional rugby career.

12. Jamie Roberts

The powerful centre won 94 caps for Wales, helping his country win three Six Nations titles and figured prominently for the Lions on the 2009 tour of South Africa and in Australia four years later. Enjoyed a colourful club career with stints at Cardiff, Racing 92, Harlequins, Bath, Dragons and Waratahs.

The 37-year-old was added to the WRU board as a non-executive director last year.

11. Jordan Williams

All Blacks great Sean Fitzpatrick once compared Williams to Christian Cullen after the diminutive full-back tore South Africa U20s to shreds for Wales U20s in the semi-final of the Junior World Cup. Williams forced his way onto the plane to South Africa after the trial match and was an unused replacement in the second Test in Nelspruit.

But despite his natural talents, a full cap never materialised. However, Williams enjoyed a good club career with stints at the Scarlets, Bristol Bears and the Dragons. The 30-year-old is currently on the Dragons' books.

10. Dan Biggar

No need for introductions here. Biggar won 112 caps for Wales, playing a pivotal role in three Six Nations winning campaigns, before retiring at the conclusion of the 2023 World Cup while he also toured with the Lions in 2017 and 2021.

Having previously played for the Ospreys and Northampton Saints, Biggar is currently running the show at French giants Toulon. He is also a pundit on highly-rated podcast The Rugby Pod alongside former Scotland lock Jim Hamilton.

9. Mike Phillips

The competitive scrum-half enjoyed a fine career, winning 94 caps for Wales, winning four Six Nations titles, and touring with the Lions twice. Played club rugby for the Scarlets, Cardiff, Ospreys, Bayonne, Racing 92 and Sale Sharks.

Currently resides in Dubai with his family where he set up his own academy. Welsh speaker Phillips makes regular appearances on S4C.

8. Taulupe Faletau

Faletau will undoubtedly go down as Wales' best No 8 of the professional era, playing a crucial role in four Six Nations-winning campaigns during his 104 caps to date. Also toured with the Lions in 2013, 2017 and 2021.

At 33, Faletau's career is not over yet but whether the Cardiff No 8 plays for Wales again remains to be seen after he fractured his shoulder playing against Ulster last month.

7. Aaron Shingler

The athletic backrower won 27 caps for Wales and played for the Scarlets for over a decade before retiring at the end of last season. Currently works in housing developments and is the owner of GS6 Limited.

6. Josh Turnbull

Turnbull won 13 caps for Wales and enjoyed a stellar club career for both the Scarlets and Cardiff. The 36-year-old recently called time on his playing career and will coach the Cardiff academy next season.

5. Luke Charteris

The giant second-row won 74 caps for Wales helping playing a key role in the Six Nations Grand Slam winning side of 2012. Charteris also enjoyed a strong club career with the Dragons, Perpignan, Racing 92 and Bath.

These days, the 41-year-old coaches the Bath academy.

4. Alun Wyn Jones

The most capped international player in history Jones is widely regarded as one of the finest locks of the modern era, helping Wales to five Six Nations titles while he also went on four Lions tours.

Spent most of his club career at the Ospreys before spending a few months at French giants Toulon, where he played his final game before retiring last year. These days Jones is a shareholder of Cardiff Distillery and the founder of Mimosa Rwm Espiritu.

3. Adam Jones

Arguably the most destructive scrummaging tighthead of the modern era. Jones won 95 caps for Wales winning the Six Nations in 2005, 2012 and 2013 while he went on two Lions tours.

Is establishing a reputation as a top end coach with Harlequins.

2. Ken Owens

Owens enjoyed a tremendous career which yielded 91 caps for Wales and two Lions tours. The 37-year-old former Scarlets captain recently announced his retirement from the game

1. Gethin Jenkins

One of Wales' modern day greats, winning 129 caps for his country and a further five for the Lions. Jenkins was an integral part of Six Nations Grand Slams in 2005, 2008 and 2012 along with a Championship in 2013.

Was part of Wayne Pivac's backroom team with Wales and is now defence coach at Cardiff.

Replacements

16. Scott Baldwin

Baldwin won 35 caps for Wales while he played for the Ospreys, Harlequins and Worcester at club level before hanging up his boots last season. Is currently defence coach at Newcastle Falcons.

17. Aaron Jarvis

Jarvis won 18 caps for Wales playing for Bath, Ospreys, Clermont Auvergne and the Dragons at club level. These days he is head of rugby at Ivybridge Community College and is also Plymouth Albion's forwards coach.

18. Samson Lee

The former Scarlets prop was a destructive scrummager who won 45 caps for Wales. Recently retired from the game.

19. Lewis Evans

The all-action backrower played for the Dragons for over a decade, captaining his home region on numerous occasions, but never won a full Wales cap. Is currently forwards and defence coach for Hong Kong Rugby.

20. Josh Navidi

Enjoyed a terrific career winning 33 caps for Wales and playing a central role in the 2019 Grand Slam winning campaign, while he also toured with the Lions in South Africa back in 2021. These days he is involved in the automotive industry and runs his own car dealership called Cute Club.

He also does work as a pundit for the BBC and is a part-time DJ.

21. Rhodri Williams

The man from Ammanford has won three caps for Wales and is currently a first choice player for the Dragons.

22. Sam Davies

Davies has won eight caps for Wales but left the Dragons for French Pro D2 outfit Grenoble at the end of last season.

23. Dafydd Hewitt

Hewitt spent nearly a decade playing for Cardiff while he also represented Wales Sevens before retiring in 2015.

Possibles

15. Dan Fish

A cult figure at the Arms Park, Fish was a reliable performer for Cardiff for a number of years. Recently replaced Steve Law as head coach of Cardiff RFC.

14. Kristian Phillips

The former Ospreys and Scarlets speedster got called into the Wales squad as a teenager but never won a cap. Since retiring Phillips has forged a career as a personal trainer and is the CEO of Cloudfit.

13. Cory Allen

The former Cardiff and Ospreys centre won six caps for Wales and likely would have won a lot more if it wasn't for injury. Is currently an agent at World in Motion.

12. Steven Shingler

Shingler enjoyed a stellar club career with the Scarlets, London Irish, Cardiff and Ealing Trailfinders, while he also represented Wales in an uncapped game against the Southern Kings in 2014. Currently works for City & Trust finance and has been attack coach of London Welsh.

The 33-year-old will join the coaching staff of the Ealing Trailfinders Women's team next season.

11. Harry Robinson

The former Cardiff and Scarlets wing won three caps for Wales, but was forced to retire at the age of 22 due to injury. Since retiring he has forged a career in the financial sector and has set up his own company called Harry Robinson Wealth Management.

10. James Hook

One of the most talented players of his generation, winning 81 caps for Wales and playing a pivotal role in three Six Nations-winning campaigns, while he toured with the Lions to South Africa in 2009. Hook also enjoyed an excellent club career with the Ospreys, Perpignan and Gloucester.

He is now a well-respected rugby pundit with the BBC.

9. Gareth Davies

The Scarlets scrum-half is still going strong and has so far won 76 caps for Wales. Is still going strong for the Scarlets and is expected to tour with Wales to Australia this summer.

8. Dan Baker

The powerful No 8 won three caps for Wales, while he played club rugby for the Ospreys and the Dragons. He currently works as a roustabout on a rig off Norfolk in the oil and gas industry.

7. Ellis Jenkins

Jenkins has recently hung up his boots after a successful career which saw him win 15 caps for Wales, a number which would almost certainly have been far higher if he hadn't sustained an horrific injury against South Africa in 2018.

6. Andrew Coombs

The former Dragons star won 10 caps for Wales and played a crucial role in Wales' 2013 Six Nations winning campaign. These days he is a successful businessman and well-respected pundit on both the BBC and S4C.

5. Ian Evans

Evans was a no-nonsense lock who won 33 caps for Wales and toured Australia with the Lions in 2013. Since retiring he has coached both the Dragons and Cardiff RFC.

4. Jake Ball

The abrasive second-row spent nearly a decade with the Scarlets and won 50 caps for Wales. He is still a professional rugby player in Japan for Green Rockets Tokatsu.

3. Rhodri Jones

Jones has won 24 caps for Wales and is still going strong for the Dragons.

2. Matthew Rees

The man known as Smiler won 60 caps for Wales and a further three for the Lions. Since retiring, Rees has worked as an agent for EngageSport while he is also a TV pundit.

1. Rob Evans

The popular former Scarlets and Dragons prop won 39 caps for Wales and now plays for the Miami Sharks in the MLR.

Replacements

16. Kristian Dacey

The former Cardiff hooker won eight caps for Wales but retired at the end of last season. He currently plays for Brecon RFC.

17. Owen Evans

Evans played for the Dragons before joining Harlequins and then Doncaster Knights before hanging up his boots.

18. Scott Andrews

Andrews won 14 caps for Wales and is now part of Matt Sherratt's backroom team at Cardiff.

19. Macauley Cook

Cook played for Cardiff before joining Jersey Reds. After Jersey went bust, he joined Pontypridd.

20. James Davies

The man known as Cubby went on to become a club legend at the Scarlets and played a crucial role in their PRO12 title winning season of 2017. He went on to win 11 caps for Wales and is now recruitment and operations officer at the Scarlets.

21. Lloyd Williams

Williams spent most of his professional career at Cardiff and won 32 caps for Wales. Is still going strong for Ealing Trailfinders.

22. Matthew Morgan

The five-cap international played for the Ospreys, Bristol and Cardiff before announcing his retirement at the start of the season due to injury.

23. Jonathan Spratt

The former Ospreys and London Irish centre won four caps for Wales and is currently a director at WIN Sports Management.