Wales caretaker head coach Rob Howley claimed a lack of flexibility was a key factor in his surprise decision to omit Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar from his squad to tour Australia.
The 22-year-old has been the form outside-half in Wales over the course of the last few months, playing a pivotal role in the Ospreys' march to the RaboDirect Pro12 title. Biggar started the 30-21 Millennium Stadium victory over the Barbarians before leaving the field during the second half with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.
Howley said: "Having spoken to Dan throughout the week we have been mindful of the motivation for the Baa-Baas game as well as the travel logistics for going to Australia."
Biggar was informed in midweek that he would not be aboard Sunday's flight to Australia for the three-Test series. The other four players dropped from Howley's original squad are centre Adam Warren, prop Ryan Bevington, wing Will Harries and flanker Martyn Williams, who won his 100th and final cap for his country as a second-half replacement in Cardiff.
With Biggar dropped, James Hook will now compete with Rhys Priestland for a starting role down under, and it was the Perpignan man's ability to also play at centre and full-back which proved pivotal in Howley's final selection.
He added: "We spoke to some of the senior players in terms of guidance of when you actually tell a player he is not going on tour. Is it now on the Saturday after the emotion of a Test match or on the Tuesday or Wednesday when they will have time to reflect as obviously it is a huge disappointment?
"Those five players have been spoken to and we have gone through the reasons why they have not been selected. Dan has been one of the form players in the RaboDirect Pro12. He has been in our environment over the last year and for longer.
"But James Hook, in terms of the two 10s and the schedule we have got, can play, 10, 12, 13 and 15 and when you are going on a tour of the magnitude of going to the other side of the world to Australia you need flexibility of selection.
"It is no reflection on Dan's form. Dan over the last four months has played particularly well for the Ospreys.
"We have spoken to him about his game management but sometimes it is a numbers game and it is about flexibility when it comes to selecting a squad to go to Australia."