WARREN Gatland wants former Dragons favourite Luke Charteris to put himself right back in contention for a third World Cup with Wales this summer.

The 35-year-old has been named as one of five locks for the June Tests against the imposing packs of South Africa and Argentina.

With Alun Wyn Jones rested and Jake Ball on the comeback trail from a shoulder injury, Gatland is blessed with options.

Bath's Charteris has not featured since winning his 74th cap against France in the 2017 Six Nations but the ex-Dragon has frequently shown his quality on the Test stage.

He came of age with Wales at the 2011 World Cup, with his exploits for the semi-finalists helping to secure a move from Rodney Parade to Perpignan and then Racing 92, then played in every game of the 2015 tournament in England.

And his international boss is happy to give the seasoned campaigner a crack at earning a place in his squad for Japan next year.

"Luke is a player we have discussed but has not been involved for a while now," said Gatland. "He has not been out of thoughts in term of a World Cup spot.

"We have looked at the squad and felt his experience in the tight five [would be useful], him and Bradley Davies.

"We wanted to send a message that he is still in our thoughts. He has not played a lot of rugby with Bath.

"We wanted to give him this chance and assess where he was and put him in a position where hopefully he will be in contention for World Cup selection."

Gatland has rested a number of players who were involved in last summer's British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

The sizeable contingent of absentees include Alun Wyn Jones, Taulupe Faletau, Justin Tipuric, Ken Owens, Dan Biggar, Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams, although Gatland has only chosen one uncapped player in Cardiff Blues scrum-half Tomos Williams.

Wing George North and back-row forward Ross Moriarty are the only original 2017 Lions selections among Wales' contingent that make the trip, as Gatland looks to further develop squad depth.

"We laid out a plan a long time ago about what we wanted to do and rest Lions players and a few others who have injuries," Gatland added.

"We want to build depth and were pleased with how the players reacted when we made a number of changes for the match with Italy in the Six Nations this season.

"In the past, when we've made significant changes, we have tended to struggle and it has been tough for us.

"So it was pleasing to see that performance, particularly in the Six Nations, and it's a great chance for this group of players to go out and make a statement. They can put some pressure on the coaches for selection in the future and on those players who aren't travelling."

Dragons hooker Elliot Dee, who made his Test bow in the autumn, is likely to add to his tally of seven caps in the 2 jersey in the absence of Owens.

His Rodney Parade teammate Hallam Amos looks set to play at full-back after enduring a frustrating Six Nations. The 23-year-old from Cross Ash enjoyed an excellent autumn campaign but slipped down the pecking order after an ankle injury in December.

Dragons-bound back row forward Ross Moriarty, who will take on Cardiff Blues with Gloucester in Friday's European Challenge Cup final, is included.

Backs: A Davies (Scarlets), G Davies (Scarlets), T Williams (Cardiff Blues), G Anscombe (Cardiff Blues), R Patchell (Scarlets), H Parkes (Scarlets), O Watkin (Ospreys), S Williams (Scarlets), J Adams (Worcester), H Amos (Dragons), S Evans (Scarlets), G North (Northampton), T Prydie (Scarlets).

Forwards: R Evans (Scarlets), W Jones (Scarlets), N Smith (Ospreys), T Francis (Exeter), S Lee (Scarlets), D Lewis (Cardiff Blues), E Dee (Dragons), R Elias (Scarlets), A Beard (Ospreys), B Davies (Ospreys), S Davies (Cardiff Blues), L Charteris (Bath), C Hill (Dragons, co-captain), J Davies (Scarlets), E Jenkins (Cardiff Blues, co-captain), R Moriarty (Gloucester), J Navidi (Cardiff Blues), A Shingler (Scarlets).