Swansea half-back Gavin Henson, Bath scrum-half Andy Williams and Newport pair Andy Powell and Hal Luscombe have all ruled themselves out of the Under 21 World Cup which commences for Wales against Italy in Johannesburg's Ellis Park next Thursday.
The prodigious Henson was expected to be named as part of coach Chris Davey's 26-strong squad but the 20 year-old has surprisingly ruled himself out - handing the Wales number 10 jersey to rival Nicky Robinson.
Davey confirmed, "Gavin has made himself unavailable for the World Cup, we are not really sure why.
"He has not had the best of seasons although he started the Six Nations Championship in good form for us, I only hope that the added competition for places at Swansea next season will bring out the best in him."
The Welsh World Cup campaign has also been denied the services of up-and-coming Newport no 8 Andy Powell who feels he needs to rest after a demanding season.
Bath scrum-half Andy Williams and Newport centre Hal Luscombre have also declined the offer of a place.
However Davey is confident the side can live up to expectations.
"Having been seeded fourth we have to target a top four finish," he added.
"The boys have tried and tested themselves at Six Nations level and proved they can compete very well. This will be another step up from that and will be a very good experience. The opening game against Italy should be a good one to get us going."
After the Italian game, Wales take on Argentina on Tuesday June 18 with their final game against favourites New Zealand on Friday June 21.
The team will be skippered by Swansea's Matthew Bayley.
Wales Under 21 World Cup squad:
G Swayles (Swansea), M Nuttall (Pontypridd), K Morris (Caerphilly), L Roberts (Cardiff), N Jones (UWIC), M Jones (Neath), M Bayley (capt, Swansea), S Williams (Newport), N Robinson (Cardiff), M Hook (Newport), M Phillips (Llanelli), C Miller (Cardiff); P James, A Jones, P Matthews (all Neath), C Jones (Llanelli), M Miles (Northampton), G Morris (Pontypridd), B Griffiths (Llanelli), L Tait (Cardiff), L Charteris (Newport), R Jones (Bridgend), R Williams (Ebbw Vale), G Williams (Llanelli), R Sowden-Taylor (Cardiff), R Jones (Newport)
Angus O'Brien has quickly settled into the Wales Sevens squad after solid performances in Hong Kong and Japan. With two rounds remaining in Glasgow and Twickenham on the World Series, WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie chats to the rising star.
Wales winger Luke Morgan has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers on the Sevens World Series. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie catches up with him on the eve of this weekend's round in Glasgow.
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.