Gibbs returned from the summer tour to Australia as the first choice No 6 only for illness to delay his start to the season with Llanelli, who he had joined from Newbridge in August. Nigel Davies, who captained Wales against France in September when he won his 28th cap, will lead an Emerging side that has nine other full internationals on duty.
Bath's back-row forward Nathan Thomas, who won his first cap as a replacement against South Africa earlier this month, gets another chance to impress along with the outstanding wing prospects Gareth Wyatt and Garan Evans. The American Eagles have chosen 10 British-based players in their 30-strong party for their four match tour of Wales.
Bath flanker Dan Lyle will lead a party that also includes Welsh-born Mark Williams and current Bridgend lock Cliff Vogl. Recent Pontypridd recruit, No 8 Rob Lumkong, is also included in the squad.
EMERGING WALES (v USA Eagles, Rodney Parade, Newport, New Year's Day): M Back (Swansea); G Evans (Llanelli), M Taylor (Swansea), N Davies (Llanelli, captain), G Wyatt (Pontypridd); L Jarvis (Cardiff), P John (Pontypridd); N Eynon (Pontypridd), G Jenkins (Swansea), L Mustoe (Cardiff), C Quinnell (Richmond), P Arnold (Swansea), A Gibbs (Llanelli), N Thomas (Bath), C Wyatt (Llanelli). Replacements: J Lewis (Pontypridd), S Connor (Newport), H Harries (Harlequins), L Jones (Cardiff), S John (Llanelli), B Williams (Neath).
USA EAGLES (squad for four-match tour of Wales): C Morrow (Gentlemen of Aspen), V Anitoni (Yankees), C Curtis (US Combined Services), B Hightower (Gentlemen of Aspen), E Schram (OMBAC), K Schuman (Pennsylvania Univ), B Wikeepa (Seattle), M Scharrenberg (Reading), M Alexander (Denver Barbarians), M Williams (Gentlemen of Aspen), I Stevens (Belmont Shore), B Howard (Life College), A Bachelet (Reading); S O'Boyle (Golden Gate), B LeClerc (Gentlemen of Aspen), R Lehner (Blackheath), C Lippert (Rugby), S Allen (Rugby), T Billups (Blackheath), L Gross (Harlequins), A Parker (Gentlemen of Aspen), R Randell (United), C Vogl (Bridgend), D Lyle (Bath, capt), D Hodges (OMBAC), J Walker (Gentlemen of Aspen), R Tardits (Life College), P Vogel (Chicago Lions), J Wilkerson (Belmont Shore), R Lumkong (Pontypridd).