Ulster hooker Bradley Roberts called up to Wales squad

Brad Roberts Ulster Rugby Wales

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Ulster Rugby hooker Bradley Roberts has been called up to the Wales squad ahead of their Autumn internationals after Ken Owens picked up a back injury.

Roberts is eligible to play for the Wales national team through his paternal grandmother, who came from the town of Llandysul.

The 25-year-old front-rower has made 10 appearances for the Irish province and joins the Wales squad for the first time.

He made his debut for the side when he came on as a replacement in their Pro14 clash against Edinburgh at Murrayfield last season.

Roberts has played in every United Rugby Championship game for Ulster so far this season, with his sole start for the club coming in their opener against Glasgow Warriors at Kingspan Stadium.

The South African-born rugby player also lines out for Energia Men’s All Ireland League side Rainey Old Boys.

Scarlets hooker Owens was initially named in the starting XV to face the All Blacks this weekend but was out of the squad half an hour later.

‘The Sheriff’ had failed a late fitness test on a back problem he had shortly before head coach Wayne Pivac faced the media – Pivac announced the news in his press conference.

Fellow Scarlets hooker Ryan Elias replaces Owens in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game in Cardiff – the first of Wales’ Autumn internationals.

An official announcement on Roberts’ call-up to the Welsh squad reads: “Wales have called on the services of hooker Bradley Roberts, following the announcement of Ken Owens’ back injury.

“The 25-year-old has made 10 appearances for Ulster, most recently as a try-scoring replacement against Connacht last weekend.

“South African born Roberts has represented RGC before moving to Northern Ireland and later joining Ulster for the 2020/21 season.

“Roberts is eligible to play for Wales through his paternal grandmother, who hailed from Llandysul.”

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