Defence coach Shaun Edwards admits a Wales side shorn of much of their RBS Six Nations-winning squad will face a “huge test” in their tour of Japan.
The Welsh, who have lost 15 players as well as head coach Warren Gatland to the British and Irish Lions, face two Tests in the Far East.
Experienced players like Ryan Jones and Matthew Rees have been left out of the squad, while Aaron Shingler and Ashley Beck yesterday became the latest in a line of players to miss out through injury, meaning call-ups for Cardiff Blues flanker Josh Navidi and Scarlets centre Adam Warren. Scarlets player Shingler has failed to recover from a foot problem, while Ospreys man Beck has picked up a groin complaint.
“It’s definitely a huge test for us,” Edwards said on the Wales Rugby Union official website. “Japan are an improving nation and we have to deal with the heat and the humidity, plus the fact that we will have approaching 30 players missing.”
Wales’ first Test is in Osaka on 8 June and the second in Tokyo a week later.