Rugby - McBryde to assess Shingler progress

Steven Shingler's decision to return to the Scarlets was a key factor in ending his spell in the international wilderness, according to Wales interim head coach Robin McBryde.

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Rugby - McBryde to assess Shingler progress
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Robin McBryde (PA Photos)

The 21-year-old London Irish fly-half was named in McBryde's 32-man training squad for the summer tour of Japan, barely a year after the row over his selection for a Scotland squad looked to have ended his Test career before it had even started.

"He is coming back to the Scarlets to play, which is a big factor behind his inclusion," McBryde said. "He is a versatile player - he can cover numbers 10, 12, 13 and 15 - and he is a very talented individual."

He added: "I was fortunate to work with him when I spent a year with the Scarlets in 2010 and he was highly regarded at that time. We will have to wait and see how he has developed."

Shingler, whose brother is a regular in the Wales squad, had long been on the radar of the Welsh selectors as a youngster so there was some surprise when he was named in the provisional Scotland squad for the 2012 RBS 6 Nations.

Shingler and the Scottish Rugby Union believed he qualified for Scotland through his Dumfries-born mother. But the Welsh Rugby Union appealed to the International Rugby Board that Shingler was only eligible to represent them having played for the national Under-20s.

The IRB eventually found in the WRU's favour and it was felt the dispute had ended Shingler's hopes of playing Test rugby. But his decision to return to the Scarlets from London Irish this summer has put him back in the picture.

McBryde was without the 15 Welsh players named in Warren Gatland's British and Irish Lions squad, but included Rhys Priestland and Bradley Davies, who missed the Six Nations through injury

McBryde also opted to rest several experienced players who did not make the Lions selection, including Ryan Jones, James Hook and Matthew Rees - instead opting to give a group of younger players a chance to shine.

There are 11 uncapped players in the squad, including Ospreys prospects Dan Baker and Dafydd Howells, plus Cardiff Blues back-rowers Andries Pretorius and Josh Navidi. McBryde will trim his squad to 27 and name a captain prior to departure for the two-Test series in Japan.

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