Shropshire Star

Former rugby league star Regan Grace called up by Wales before Australia tour

Ospreys wing Keelan Giles has been released from the squad after suffering a groin injury in training.

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Wales have called former rugby league star Regan Grace into their wider squad ahead of a two-Test tour to Australia.

Grace, who has only played two senior games of union, could now head Down Under.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland is due to finalise his travelling group after Saturday’s Twickenham clash against South Africa, with a handful of training squad players set to miss out on a place in a 34-strong tour party.

Ospreys wing Keelan Giles has been released from the squad after suffering a groin injury in training, the Welsh Rugby Union said.

Wales face the Wallabies in Sydney on July 6 and Melbourne seven days later, before tackling Queensland Reds on July 19.

Grace, who signed a contract with Bath in April, would not have been eligible for the Springboks encounter as it falls outside World Rugby’s summer Test window and Wales’ England-based players cannot be considered for selection.

The 27-year-old scored 89 tries for Super League club St Helens during a league career that saw him feature in three Grand Final winning teams.

Grace ruptured his Achilles tendon in August 2022 before joining French Top 14 club Racing 92, but he did not feature for them after suffering an injury relapse six months later.

Welshman Grace linked up with Bath to continue his rehabilitation and he played in friendlies earlier this year against Leinster and Gloucester as he returned to full fitness.

Bath then announced a contract for the Port Talbot-born wing until the end of next season, with an option for another year.

Speaking in April, Bath head of rugby Johann van Graan said: “Regan has impressed both on and off the pitch over the last few months.

Wales’ Henry Thomas raises his arms during a match against England in Cardiff
Wales’ Henry Thomas has been ruled out through injury (Simon Galloway/PA)

“He has a clear point of difference in his play, and that will be very valuable for our team. It’s great to have Regan on board.”

Wales prop Henry Thomas, meanwhile, has been ruled out of the South Africa game due to a foot injury.

Cardiff tighthead Keiron Assiratti is promoted off the bench to start, with Harri O’Connor named among the replacements.

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