You don’t have to be called Davies and hail from Whitland Rugby Club to make Wales’ 2019 Rugby World Cup squad, but it helps.

Brothers Jonathan and James and namesake Aled Davies are the pride of Whitland - the only town named by three members of the squad as hosting their club of origin, when Warren Gatland announced the players who will travel to the flagship tournament in Japan this week.

Club chairman Jason Bowen is used to following the exploits of the 75-times capped Jonathan Davies on both Wales and British & Irish Lions duty and, in recent history, the Borderers have been able to claim ownership of the likes of former international Mike Phillips and, in the women’s game, Sioned Harries, Lleuce George and Vicky Owens.

When James Davies, known as ‘Cubby’ to his older brother’s ‘Fox’ (a nod to the ‘Fox and Hounds’ pub in Bancyfelin which their parents owned), was selected to represent Great Britain in rugby sevens in 2016 a signpost was erected at his former home ground in adulation which has stayed ever since.

But this latest triumvirate of Borderers on route to Japan, which sees the brothers joined by scrum-half Aled on Gatland’s team sheet, has the club brimming over with pride.

“Both Cubby and Fox are local boys, they went to the Dyffryn Taf school in Whitland and their family has always been closely tied to the club,” said Bowen.

“Cubby has presented our end of season medals to the young Junior Borderers players and both he and Aled came down to meet the children at our rugby festival just last season, but all three boys are always supportive whenever we ask anything of them. 

“Jonathan has had a glittering career already, but it’s particularly special to see him able to play with his brother, they are both extremely talented rugby players and always have been and we’ve always known they would both make it right to the top.

“Aled too has always had what it takes ever since he was a youngster playing for Whitland and to think that he, James and Jon all started training at Parc Dr Owen, like we do every Friday night with our mini and junior players, is heart-warming – it shows we must be doing something right!

“It’s great for the club and the town, for their families and their friends and for everyone involved with Whitland RFC, we’ll be cheering them on in the clubhouse when they are in Japan and we are all extremely proud of all three of them.”

The Wales squad was announced in a unique way with a piece of video footage shot at the nominated clubs of origin of each player published online to confirm their selection in the squad. The announcement video, introduced by Warren Gatland, saw the players’ community clubs reveal the 31-man squad.

The video brings together both the community and international side of the game, showcasing the players’ rugby journey and celebrating their community club.

In a project that has been months in the making, the full training squad were asked to confirm what they felt was their ‘community club’ back in May.

Since then filming took place at the nominated clubs of every member of the training squad across the length and breadth of the country.

Each club will also receive a commemorative plaque to display at the club for ‘inspiring’ their player in their rugby journey.

Whitland’s ‘announcer’ for the video was Arwyn Thomas, a former Whitland Junior Borderers coach and a club stalwart who spent 15-year as chairman.