Sam Warburton will become Wales' youngest World Cup captain after coach Warren Gatland revealed his 30-man squad on Monday, but Martyn Williams misses out on the chance to win his 100th cap in the tournament in New Zealand.
Gatland confirmed that Cardiff Blues flank Warburton, 22, takes over the armband from hooker Matthew Rees, who was ruled out after surgery on a neck injury.
Warburton said: "To be a World Cup captain is one of the biggest achievements a rugby player could achieve.
"It's my first World Cup, so it will be new to me. I imagine it will be the same as other Test matches, just a bit more intense."
The Welsh squad contains one uncapped player, Scarlets hooker Ken Owens who received a late call-up to replace ankle injury victim Richard Hibbard.
Hibbard was hurt during Saturday's World Cup warm-up victory over Argentina in his comeback match after shoulder surgery.
As expected, there are few surprises in the squad, although Cardiff Blues flank Williams, who won his 99th cap on Saturday, was denied the chance to play in a fourth World Cup.
"I had a chat with Martyn [Williams] in the week. He has been an unbelievable servant to Welsh rugby. He is selfless, a great servant," Gatland said.
Gatland has opted for a split of 16 forwards and 14 backs, with Sale Sharks' Andy Powell gaining one of the back row slots, while scrumhalf prospects Tavis Knoyle and Lloyd Williams also gain opportunities.
"We've had a few injuries in the back three, and we wanted to make sure we had cover there. It needed bolstering up, so we went for 16-14," Gatland said.
"In such a tough group, there won't potentially be huge changes game to game, but we do have quality players we can call in. We don't often carry a specialist seven on the bench."
Wales kick off their World Cup campaign against South Africa in Wellington on September 11, followed by other pool stage appointments with Samoa, Namibia and Fiji.
Scarlets wing George North, at 19, is the youngest player chosen, with Gatland also selecting two 20-year-olds in Scarlets centre Scott Williams and Newport Gwent Dragons No.8 Toby Faletau.
Rees, Hibbard, centre Gavin Henson and wing Morgan Stoddart were all unavailable for selection due to injuries, but prop Gethin Jenkins makes the cut despite ongoing concerns about a calf muscle problem, which has sidelined him since January.
"Gethin Jenkins is unlikely to be fit for the South Africa game, although he should definitely be right for the Samoa match," Gatland said.
"He's an important quality player, which is why we are taking a bit of risk. We know how good he is."
As well as Williams, other players overlooked by Gatland include scrum-half Dwayne Peel, who captained Wales in their first game of the 2007 World Cup, and back row forwards Josh Turnbull, Jonathan Thomas, Gareth Delve and Justin Tipuric.
Forwards: Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Lloyd Burns (Newport Gwent Dragons), Huw Bennett (Ospreys), Ryan Bevington (Ospreys), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Paul James (Ospreys), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Craig Mitchell (Exeter), Bradley Davies (Cardiff Blues), Sam Warburton (captain, Cardiff Blues), Luke Charteris (Newport Gwent Dragons), Danny Lydiate (Newport Gwent Dragons), Toby Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons), Ryan Jones (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Andy Powell (Sale Sharks).
Backs: Michael Phillips (Bayonne), Lloyd Williams (Cardiff Blues), Tavis Knoyle (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues), James Hook (Perpignan), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues), Lee Byrne (Clermont Auvergne), Aled Brew (Newport Gwent Dragons), Shane Williams (Ospreys), George North (Scarlets).
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