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)
Wales Head Coach Rob Howley talks to WRU TV's Sebastian Barrett about the 36-man squad he has just named for the forthcoming Under Armour series, which includes two uncapped players, Ospreys duo Sam Davies and Rory Thornton.
Head coach Rowland Phillips is deligthed he can now call BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park home for his Wales Women's side, who launch their international season next month with games against Scotland and UK Armed Forces in the heart of the capital city.
Wales Sevens star Sam Cross has put his home town club of Brynmawr on the map after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics with Team GB. His club have now honoured him by naming their players bar after him, as WRU TV discovered at the official launch, recently.
One of the newest members of the Principality Premiership, Bargoed admit it's proving to be a steep learning curve at the highest level, but are determined to become a force to be reckoned with. WRU TV visited the club last weekend when they took on Llanelli.
Table-topping Aberavon travel to north Wales to tackle RGC 1404 as both teams defend unbeaten starts to the season in the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie visited the Wizards to see how their preparations were going for the game of the weekend.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.