SIX NATIONS OPENING MATCH - France vs Wales Stade de France - 1st February 2019

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 02 Jan 2019, 9:47 am

First topic message reminder :

France: Maxime Medard; Damian Penaud, Wesley Fofana, Romain Ntamack, Yohann Huget; Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra; Jefferson Poirot, Guilhem Guirado, Uini Atonio; Sébastien Vahaamahina, Paul Willemse, Wenceslas Lauret, Arthur Itturia, Louis Picamoles.

Reps: Julien Marchand, Dany Priso, Demba Bamba, Felix Lambey, Gregory Alldritt, Baptiste Serin, Gael Fickou, Geoffrey Doumayrou.



Wales: Liam Williams; George North, Jonathan Davies, Hadleigh Parkes, Josh Adams; Gareth Anscombe, Tomos Williams; Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis; Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones; Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.

Reps: Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones, Samson Lee, Cory Hill, Aaron Wainwright, Gareth Davies, Dan Biggar, Owen Watkin.



Last edited by maestegmafia on Wed 30 Jan 2019, 11:57 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Pie on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 3:09 am

maestegmafia wrote:I would be happy to see Jonah Holmes at 15 for the first game. He is the form fullback in the squad at the moment.

Italy yes, France no

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Post by munkian on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 8:34 am

I don't know if we should try and match 'fizicality' with France, run the fat boys around.
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Post by SecretFly on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 9:07 am

Let them bring the IKality...and you bring the Fizz. Stop overcomplicating things Wink

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 9:09 am

...but beware the French. They're going to do one of the top three (England, Wales, Italy)..........

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 9:16 am

I think we need to write this tournament off, with all of the injuries. We might get a couple of wins but I don’t think we can reasonably challenge for the title this year.
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Post by SecretFly on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 9:19 am

So the title is England's, France or Scotland?

I think the odds of Ireland doing it are low based on historic trending....

I'd love us to do it again of course but I'd settle for a respectable 2nd.... or 3rd as long as I felt we were holding something back for the tough year ahead...

4th and we're f**ked...............................

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Post by munkian on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 9:33 am

SecretFly wrote:So the title is England's, France or Scotland?

I think the odds of Ireland doing it are low based on historic trending....

I'd love us to do it again of course but I'd settle for a respectable 2nd.... or 3rd as long as I felt we were holding something back for the tough year ahead...

4th and we're f**ked...............................

Hey, you'll be pissing over decades of Irish tradition if you don't peak early before a world cup mad
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Post by SecretFly on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 10:01 am

munkian wrote:
SecretFly wrote:So the title is England's, France or Scotland?

I think the odds of Ireland doing it are low based on historic trending....

I'd love us to do it again of course but I'd settle for a respectable 2nd.... or 3rd as long as I felt we were holding something back for the tough year ahead...

4th and we're f**ked...............................

Hey, you'll be pissing over decades of Irish tradition if you don't peak early before a world cup mad

I'm actively trying to fend off that tradition by doing my Jonesinian 'taking pressure off me team' stuff Cool

Nah...It's Wales title to lose this year.  All the omens are with them.

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Post by munkian on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 10:14 am

SecretFly wrote:
munkian wrote:
SecretFly wrote:So the title is England's, France or Scotland?

I think the odds of Ireland doing it are low based on historic trending....

I'd love us to do it again of course but I'd settle for a respectable 2nd.... or 3rd as long as I felt we were holding something back for the tough year ahead...

4th and we're f**ked...............................

Hey, you'll be pissing over decades of Irish tradition if you don't peak early before a world cup mad

I'm actively trying to fend off that tradition by doing my Jonesinian 'taking pressure off me team' stuff Cool

Nah...It's Wales title to lose this year.  All the omens are with them.

Nah, its Scotland pal, dusky ponies to win it.
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Post by maestegmafia on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 4:44 pm

Pie wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:I would be happy to see Jonah Holmes at 15 for the first game. He is the form fullback in the squad at the moment.

Italy yes, France no

He’s been a consistently top performer for Tigrs this season, Amos looks good but has been injured too much

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Post by munkian on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 4:52 pm

I think Holmes had a tidy Test debut, he just didn't back himself enough at times.
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Post by miaow on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 8:48 pm

Agree with that. Big difference playing Tonga in the AI than anyone, let alone France in Paris, in the 6Ns though. I think Liam will almost certainly play, but if not, I'd like to see Adams at 15. Think he's 4th in line should any of the first choice back 3 get injured, as is the case now.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 12:12 am

munkian wrote:I don't know if we should try and match 'fizicality' with France, run the fat boys around.

Yeah definitely, but we do want to at least stop their big runners and their driving lineout. That Paul Willemse they just poached from Zimbabwe/SA might be bigger than Will Skelton. I expect it will be an attritional and unspectacular game, it usually is against France. Now more than ever I’m seeing the need for a player like Rhys Webb... if we had someone other than Aled Davies in the squad I’d feel a little more comfortable.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 12:19 am

More importantly he just needs to get the players to express themselves as the scarlets did recently in France. I think Scarlets could have won that had they not had so many top players (mainly forwards) missing.

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Post by Pie on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 2:31 am

Or Anscombe at 15 though I think that is a last resort during a game as Anscombe never looks good under the GO and Plan A,B and C seems to involve him at 10 for the RWC. I expect Liam will play and be rested the next week assuming the break isn't too bad, anyone who has ever broken a finger knows it just feels stiff and sore but with pain meds can be used unless its very serious.

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Post by maestegmafia on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 8:09 am

We are all hoping Liam Williams is fit, he was in great form at fullback for Saracens last weekend.

If he is then who do we bench as a back beyond the placement halfbacks?

Amos ? Holmes ? Needs to cover back three and centre

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Post by munkian on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 9:28 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
munkian wrote:I don't know if we should try and match 'fizicality' with France, run the fat boys around.

Yeah definitely, but we do want to at least stop their big runners and their driving lineout. That Paul Willemse they just poached from Zimbabwe/SA might be bigger than Will Skelton. I expect it will be an attritional and unspectacular game, it usually is against France. Now more than ever I’m seeing the need for a player like Rhys Webb... if we had someone other than Aled Davies in the squad I’d feel a little more comfortable.

Is he a bigger waste of space than Will Skelton though ?
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Post by LondonTiger on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 11:03 am

miaow wrote:Agree with that. Big difference playing Tonga in the AI than anyone, let alone France in Paris, in the 6Ns though. I think Liam will almost certainly play, but if not, I'd like to see Adams at 15. Think he's 4th in line should any of the first choice back 3 get injured, as is the case now.
Josh Adams to full back has been mentioned before. Has he ever played there? While Jonah Holmes has made a good showing in his games at FB for us, he is still very inexperienced with barely a handful of games in teh position and surely there is a better option available?

If Williams is not fit would Anscombe be the most experience alternative, with Biggar starting at 10?

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 11:12 am

I think it'll be Biggar at ten, if only for his goalkicking.

Anscombe at full back would be my preference, if Liam Williams is out.

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Post by munkian on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 12:21 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I think it'll be Biggar at ten, if only for his goalkicking.

Anscombe at full back would be my preference, if Liam Williams is out.

I think Anscombe's goal kicking is pretty tidy now.

We really need to get our 10/12/13 used to playing with each other.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 12:58 pm

I don't have any stats to hand, but I'd guess that Biggar's the more reliable of the two. Happy to be corrected.

There doesn't even have to be much in it, I'd still want the more reliable place kicker starting. I doubt we'll get many scoring opportunities.

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Post by miaow on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 1:01 pm

I've said what I'd prefer, but this is what I'm (relatively) certain Gatland would do if Liam Williams is out...

I think the hierarchy goes like this (Anscombe 10, Biggar bench):
(1/2P, LW), Amos, Anscombe/Patchell, Holmes, Adams, A.N.Other (as/when desperate - Parkes, Biggar etc). I think it goes to Amos based on what he's said about him as a winger in the past, but he clearly likes his as a rugby player.

The tactics will very much be a continuation of what they've been doing post-Lions tour; heavily based on possession, but playing a bit more heads up rugby. The emphasis against France will be keeping a high tempo (not necessarily throwing it wide wide or becoming loose where the French will thrive), playing the game in the French half, and of course making them tackle by keeping the ball. Wales should dominate the French in the transitional elements of the game, where France are still very, very sloppy. So...

Gatland will want to keep Anscombe at 10 if he can. Biggar on the bench to come on and tidy things up if necessary. Possibly moving Anscombe to 15 if he's doing well. I can't see Biggar playing 15, despite that being tried in the past. I'm not sure whether Patchell to 15 is an option with Gatland still. I wouldn't want it, but I wouldn't rule it out - it's close between Amos and 'a 10' at 15.

All that said I'd be amazed if LW doesn't play.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 26 Jan 2019, 1:28 am

munkian wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
munkian wrote:I don't know if we should try and match 'fizicality' with France, run the fat boys around.

Yeah definitely, but we do want to at least stop their big runners and their driving lineout. That Paul Willemse they just poached from Zimbabwe/SA might be bigger than Will Skelton. I expect it will be an attritional and unspectacular game, it usually is against France. Now more than ever I’m seeing the need for a player like Rhys Webb... if we had someone other than Aled Davies in the squad I’d feel a little more comfortable.

Is he a bigger waste of space than Will Skelton though ?

Not quite. Willemse is actually able to move around and has a good try-scoring record. I remember us playing Montpellier a few years ago and thinking he was the biggest lock that I’d ever seen.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 26 Jan 2019, 7:50 pm

So Jake Ball didn’t get injured right?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 26 Jan 2019, 7:53 pm

munkian wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I think it'll be Biggar at ten, if only for his goalkicking.

Anscombe at full back would be my preference, if Liam Williams is out.

I think Anscombe's goal kicking is pretty tidy now.

We really need to get our 10/12/13 used to playing with each other.

If it has to be makeshift then so be it. These are pro players, plus we did it at the last World Cup. Tyler Morgan looked like a season pro then but has slipped away big time...
The trouble is Parkes was the glue that had been holding our back line together and right now he’s off colour. Watkin has looked a lot better every time I’ve seen him. If you’re good enough you’re experienced enough.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sun 27 Jan 2019, 7:47 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:So Jake Ball didn’t get injured right?

Played a really good game, despite the loss at the rds, jake ball, hardy and Davis were superb

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Post by RDW on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 9:41 am


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Post by munkian on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 2:00 pm

WOL on the WRU presser - https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/six-nations-live-breaking-news-15741461

The Wales injury situation

Here’s the situation with those injured players we mentioned before the press conference...

Nicky Smith (ankle): Up for selection, took part in training today. Wales say “It depends how much he has got in the tank for the game.”

Gareth Davies (thigh muscle): Up for selection

Scott Williams (ankle): Out

Ross Moriarty (concussion) Trained fully today and is available for selection.

Adam Beard (concussion and neck): Trained fully today. “He has come back and is like Ross, he keeps himself in good shape,” McBryde says.

Josh Adams (hamstring): Trained today

Liam Williams (broken finger): Available for selection

Tomas Francis (ill): Believed to be fine

Dan Biggar (knee): Available for selection

Cory Hill (shoulder): Trained fully today

Elliot Dee (ankle): Fine

Rhys Patchell (hamstring): Out

Leon Brown (broken thumb): Out

Leigh Halfpenny (concussion): Out
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Post by Pie on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 2:33 pm

Looks like Rhys Webb has a cunning plan....

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Post by munkian on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 2:35 pm

Pie wrote:Looks like Rhys Webb has a cunning plan....

Future Dragon Shocked
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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 3:29 pm

Not too bad news then eh..!

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Post by munkian on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 3:31 pm

maestegmafia wrote:Not too bad news then eh..!

Yupp, positive stuff. I just hope we start T Williams over Davies.
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Post by Pie on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 3:46 pm

I think Mrs Webb and Regan should be offered contracts themselves, superb work behind the scenes.

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 4:02 pm

Hey Maes, congrats on the promotion to 'Moderator'! Excellent choice clap
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Post by The Oracle on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 4:04 pm

Yeah, I've just been reading about the Webb situation. Kids struggling to settle. Dragons in need of star players. It's a match made in heaven!
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Post by miaow on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 4:06 pm

munkian wrote:Tomas Francis (ill): Believed to be fine

This is all I can think of when I read that: SIX NATIONS OPENING MATCH - France vs Wales Stade de France - 1st February 2019 - Page 3 G1382526680126787378

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 4:07 pm

The Oracle wrote:Hey Maes, congrats on the promotion to 'Moderator'!  Excellent choice clap

I read that as 'Matador' Laugh

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 4:11 pm

That would be awesome though.

Pretty good news on the injury front then. I did have a feeling a lot of the doubts like Adam Beard and Liam Williams would be ok.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 7:12 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Hey Maes, congrats on the promotion to 'Moderator'!  Excellent choice clap

I read that as 'Matador' Laugh

Matador is probably appropriate

Ha ha ha

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 7:14 pm

munkian wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:Not too bad news then eh..!

Yupp, positive stuff. I just hope we start T Williams over Davies.

Yeah, I’m inclined to agree on current recent form...!

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 10:49 pm

munkian wrote:
Pie wrote:Looks like Rhys Webb has a cunning plan....

Future Dragon Shocked

Am I missing something here?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 10:53 pm

The Oracle wrote:Yeah, I've just been reading about the Webb situation.  Kids struggling to settle.  Dragons in need of star players.  It's a match made in heaven!

I think Webb certainly made a brash and rushed decision in going there, you can thank years of mismanagement at the Ospreys for that. I don’t recommend that any of our guys go play in France unless they want to forget international rugby and actually have a plan for post rugby in France. I’m not sure if Webb is coming back just yet as we don’t know how we’re going to pay players, right? Very Happy I imagine Ospreys will be begging him to return though.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 10:56 pm

Good news on the injury front, finally; however I did expect most of the casualty list to be available in time. They’ll either be rusty, or very well rested and raring to go. I still think we should be considering something like; Evans, Owens, Francis, AWJ, Ball or Beard, Hill, Tipuric, Navidi. A lock on the bench including Smith, Dee, Lee, Moriarty or Wainright- not sure who in the backs unless one of them can be Webb.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 10:57 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Yeah, I've just been reading about the Webb situation.  Kids struggling to settle.  Dragons in need of star players.  It's a match made in heaven!

I think Webb certainly made a brash and rushed decision in going there, you can thank years of mismanagement at the Ospreys for that. I don’t recommend that any of our guys go play in France unless they want to forget international rugby and actually have a plan for post rugby in France. I’m not sure if Webb is coming back just yet as we don’t know how we’re going to pay players, right? Very Happy I imagine Ospreys will be begging him to return though.

On form he is the best scrum half in Wales, obviously the ospreys would love to have him back but I don’t think Aled Davis has been a bad signing at all.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 10:58 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Good news on the injury front, finally; however I did expect most of the casualty list to be available in time. They’ll either be rusty, or very well rested and raring to go. I still think we should be considering something like; Evans, Owens, Francis, AWJ, Ball or Beard, Hill, Tipuric, Navidi. A lock on the bench including Smith, Dee, Lee, Moriarty or Wainright- not sure who in the backs unless one of them can be Webb.

I think Nicky Smith is injured

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 11:01 pm

I think that’s just you then maes, as signing such a poor player to partner another poor player at fly-half ranks among the worst decisions your board have made. All that potential wasted due to a few players in important positions, plus the signing of another clueless coach who keeps ducking games. Webb would be a great addition to any team but it has to be Ospreys and Dragons where he’s required the most; both in desperate need of a 9 who can run the game at a high tempo.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 11:03 pm

maestegmafia wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Good news on the injury front, finally; however I did expect most of the casualty list to be available in time. They’ll either be rusty, or very well rested and raring to go. I still think we should be considering something like; Evans, Owens, Francis, AWJ, Ball or Beard, Hill, Tipuric, Navidi. A lock on the bench including Smith, Dee, Lee, Moriarty or Wainright- not sure who in the backs unless one of them can be Webb.

I think Nicky Smith is injured

Wyn Jones then I guess. Smith is a very good scrummager, we’ll miss that.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 11:12 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Good news on the injury front, finally; however I did expect most of the casualty list to be available in time. They’ll either be rusty, or very well rested and raring to go. I still think we should be considering something like; Evans, Owens, Francis, AWJ, Ball or Beard, Hill, Tipuric, Navidi. A lock on the bench including Smith, Dee, Lee, Moriarty or Wainright- not sure who in the backs unless one of them can be Webb.

I think Nicky Smith is injured

Wyn Jones then I guess. Smith is a very good scrummager, we’ll miss that.

Yes he had a great autumn series, like you saaid but I thought his loose work was good too, a few nice carries, lots of tackles and the odd turnover too from what I remember.

Recently thought Wyn Jones has had a good few weeks at Scarlets, so not overly worried.

I am expecting a big French pack on Friday.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 28 Jan 2019, 11:36 pm

Welsh team I expect Gatland and the coaches to select, with the latest news we have from the press conference today is:-

R. Evans
K. Owens
S. Lee
AW Jones (Capt)
A. Beard
J. Nalvidi
J. Tipuric
R. Moriarty
G. Davies
G. Anscombe
J. Adams
H. Parkes
J. Davies
G. North
L. Williams

Reps
E. Dee
W. Jones
T. Francis
C. Hill
A. Wainwright
T. Williams
D. Biggar
H. Amos

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Post by miaow on Tue 29 Jan 2019, 12:01 am

That looks bang on the money. On possible changes might be at 9 and at 4, although I'd go Beard to partner AWJ. A bit lightweight, but the set-piece needs to function against France, and hopefully those two can secure Wales' own ball at the very least, as well as disrupting some of France's.

Wales need to be tidier, more controlled, and ruthless to win the game. Do those things and France could/should implode. Don't give them a reason to get int the game, even in the last 10 minutes, by having a useless set-piece.

A bit light in the backrow but all 3 punch above their weight. Tipuric deceptively powerful in and around the tackle-and-jackal, Navidi the same carrying and in defence, and Moriarty scores 10/10 for the choke...tackle.

But other than that the side looks good. Aside from the obvious players, this is a big, big game for Hadleigh Parkes. I expect him to play well against Basteuraud and France - his direct and (usually) simple yet effective style could be the integral foil around which LW, GN and the other dangerous backs play some exciting attacking rugby.

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