Wales - 2019/20 - Pivac, Grand Slams, and beyond - Post-RWC '19 and 2020 6Ns build up

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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Dec 2019, 7:11 pm

First topic message reminder :

Wales' 2020 Six Nations Squad:

Forwards (21)

Rhys Carre (Saracens) (6 Caps)
Rob Evans (Scarlets) (36 Caps)
Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (22 Caps)
Elliot Dee (Dragons) (29 Caps)
Ryan Elias (Scarlets) (9 Caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (73 Caps)
Leon Brown (Dragons) (6 Caps)
WillGriff John (Sale) (*uncapped)
Dillon Lewis (Blues) (22 Caps)
Jake Ball (Scarlets) (42 Caps)
Adam Beard (Ospreys) (20 Caps)
Seb Davies (Blues) (7 Caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (134 Caps) (CAPTAIN)
Will Rowlands (Wasps) (*uncapped)
Cory Hill (Dragons) (24 Caps)
Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (26 Caps)
Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (18 Caps)
Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (72 Caps)
Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (41 Caps)
Josh Navidi (Blues) (23 Caps)
Justin Tipuric (Osprey) (72 Caps)

Backs (17)

Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (51 Caps)
Rhys Webb (Toulon) (31 Caps)
Tomos Williams (Blues) (16 Caps)
Dan Biggar (Northampton) (79 Caps)
Owen Williams (Gloucester) (3 Caps)
Jarrod Evans (Blues) (3 Caps)
Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (25 Caps)
Nick Tompkins (Saracens) (*uncapped)
Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (22 Caps)
George North (Ospreys) (91 Caps)
Josh Adams (Blues) (21 Caps)
Owen Lane (Blues) (2 Caps)
Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets) (*uncapped)
Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester) (*uncapped)
Jonah Holmes (Leicester Tigers) (3 Caps)
Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (85 Caps)
Liam Williams (Saracens) (62 Caps)

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 7:06 am

Taylorman wrote:Early days. Gats lost his first 9 tests to tier one sides with Ireland before he won one and finished on nearly 50% with a team that had few highlights. With Wales Gats has been fortunate to have many very good World class players.

Gats was very uninspiring early on but he grew on people. Pivac enteres a much more competitive environment so will have his challenges so its simply a matter of wait and see while he tries things until he finds his formula...or doesnt.

I think the public will have the patience to let his blue print work. The players seem happy with it too. As with nearly everything in Britain these days it’s the way the media react that worries me most.

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Post by No9 on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 11:30 am

maestegmafia wrote:
Taylorman wrote:Early days. Gats lost his first 9 tests to tier one sides with Ireland before he won one and finished on nearly 50% with a team that had few highlights. With Wales Gats has been fortunate to have many very good World class players.

Gats was very uninspiring early on but he grew on people. Pivac enteres a much more competitive environment so will have his challenges so its simply a matter of wait and see while he tries things until he finds his formula...or doesnt.

I think the public will have the patience to let his blue print work. The players seem happy with it too. As with nearly everything in Britain these days it’s the way the media react that worries me most.

I agree that Pivac needs time to find his “formula”. But I don't think he’ll have the same success as Gats had, and won’t be surprised when we drop a little on the world stage, but that’s the circle of life, it happens. In Wales we have been spoilt in the Gats era, and it will take something very special to equal it never mind beat it.

So, although I believe Pivac will be successful with Wales in the long run, I don’t expect him to “beat” Gatland’s achievements.


Last edited by No9 on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 12:10 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Rugby Fan on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 3:30 pm

Dan Biggar just came down on a straight leg in Saints match against Saracens. He was helped after 20 minutes. Scans will show if he's done anything serious but he must be considered a doubt.

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Post by Guest on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 4:50 pm

Taylorman wrote:Early days. Gats lost his first 9 tests to tier one sides with Ireland before he won one and finished on nearly 50% with a team that had few highlights. With Wales Gats has been fortunate to have many very good World class players.

Gats was very uninspiring early on but he grew on people. Pivac enteres a much more competitive environment so will have his challenges so its simply a matter of wait and see while he tries things until he finds his formula...or doesnt.

Do you remember what Ireland were like in the 90s? Canada were giving them a tough time. They were awful.

Gatland has been a winner wherever he's gone. He turned Ireland around but more than that went on to dominate with Wasps and then made Wales competitive again and has done well with the Lions. For Pivac he doesn't have anywhere near that record and I think most Welsh fans are accepting he will be a step down but I expect we'll hit a golden patch at some point after the Lions tour and then struggle in the world cup.

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Post by Guest on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 4:51 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Dan Biggar just came down on a straight leg in Saints match against Saracens. He was helped after 20 minutes. Scans will show if he's done anything serious but he must be considered a doubt.

Maybe the worst injury we could have at the moment. Can't think of anyone more important for playing England.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 5:48 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Dan Biggar just came down on a straight leg in Saints match against Saracens. He was helped after 20 minutes. Scans will show if he's done anything serious but he must be considered a doubt.

FFS. Pivac must be annoyed. He'll be trying to do a lot more to get the guys back playing in Wales now.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sat 29 Feb 2020, 6:03 pm

Dan Biggar sure is having some bad luck lately what with an HIA, and now possible leg injury...is Hallam Amos also injured?

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Post by No9 on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 12:10 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:Dan Biggar sure is having some bad luck lately what with an HIA, and now possible leg injury...is Hallam Amos also injured?

Yep...

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 02 Mar 2020, 12:18 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:Dan Biggar sure is having some bad luck lately what with an HIA, and now possible leg injury.

Foot and mouth?

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Post by Guest on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 5:34 pm

Corey Baldwin has joined Exeter. That is a terrible loss for Welsh rugby he is a real talent.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 6:12 pm

But the sounds of it hes no longer qualified for Wales then?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 8:52 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:But the sounds of it hes no longer qualified for Wales then?

Born there. Never in contention for Wales selection however, so if he becomes something good then he’s eligible. Scarlets may also have been unable to match Exeter’s offer which is another loophole. 

If he becomes an international in the next two years he needs to re-sign with a Welsh team. If not he becomes ineligible as he’ll be well short of the 60 cap mark.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 8:54 pm

My mistake, he was born in Surrey but grew up in Wales.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 9:06 pm

Yeah. Sounds like his dad is english but got a job there? No idea of other family links though hence the question.

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Post by Guest on Tue 03 Mar 2020, 10:00 pm

He looks a top talent so hopefully he is Welsh qualified it would be a strange move to make knowing he'd need 5 years to qualify again when he returned. Exeter don't sign duds do they. He has what it takes to play in the centres or wing for Wales starting from next season so it's a good signing for Exeter but a loss to Welsh rugby and Wales.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 10:17 am

Genuine question - how does the residency thing work for those leaving the country they're qualified for?  Is it instantly?  So for example, a player is born in England and moves to Wales at a young age and stays for 18 years.  Parents and grandparents are NOT Welsh.  So the player is residency qualified and can play for England or Wales.  If that player takes up a contract in England, how long does the welsh residency qualification last?  Is it over as soon as he steps out of Wales?  Like, literally drives over the severn bridge and then it's gone?  Or is it the signing of the contract that does it?  What about if they live in Wales but play in England (e.g. commuting to Bath)? Does it remain?  If so, could we get Corey Baldwin to commute to Exeter?!
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 10:28 am

If he moves to Exeter and lives there it ends immediately: if he only qualifies on residency. Still dont know how he qualified for wales. If he commuted hed still qualify but given this move it hints hes looking at playing for England I'd say.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 10:48 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:If he moves to Exeter and lives there it ends immediately: if he only qualifies on residency. Still dont know how he qualified for wales. If he commuted hed still qualify but given this move it hints hes looking at playing for England I'd say.


Because he's been living in Wales since he was a child. Grew up here, played all of his rugby here, came through the Scarlets academy, Wales U20, etc. So he's fully residency qualified. At the moment.
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 10:48 am

I did know that bit just not sure if he had any family who were welsh on top of that.

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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 11:00 am

He won't have been too far away from a call up given our injury problems in the centre. I'm sure he must be qualified as leaving and turning down Wales would be a bad career move even or Exeter. Given his explosive power and speed it's a shame he's left as he's exactly what Wales will need after Jonathan Davies retires but maybe hopefully he'll learn down at Sandy Park and then come back once he's an established international player. He's been rotated behind Steff Hughes and with the injuries at the Scarlets you can only assume he's wanted first team rugby this year and that's prompted the move but will he get it at Exeter? Perhaps not.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 11:02 am

So do you know if theres a family link guestalt or just a guess? Cant find anything other than residency myself.

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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 11:10 am

I'LL ASK SOME FRIENDS WHO WILL KNOW WHEN i SEE THEM AT THE WEEKEND IF NO ONE CONFIRMS BEFOREHAND.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 11:20 am

Hope your sources are better than LDs. He was still trying to insist that ben morgan was welsh qualified.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 12:31 pm

I would guess he does have a Welsh parent or at least grandparent, that’s usually always a factor in the family moving from England to Wales and vice versa. At this stage he was nowhere near a Wales call-up though, and was clearly annoyed at being behind a below average centre like Hughes at Scarlets.

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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 12:37 pm

Average to poor trolling, mikey.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 12:50 pm

Different option to miaow = trolling.

Some things don’t change, even when they really need to. Does anyone else think Baldwin was close to a call up? Honest question.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 12:54 pm

Sounds like it was his dad s job mikey. Again not a clue what he does. Interesting challenge a few of these youngs guys seem to be making as slade currently has that 13 shirt so it's a 'good' challenge for him.

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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 3:28 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Different option to miaow = trolling.

Some things don’t change, even when they really need to. Does anyone else think Baldwin was close to a call up? Honest question.

When your 'opinion' are clearly made by being antagonistic to other people then yes, it's trolling. And I'm still not miaow but if the therapy doll suits you...

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 4:57 pm

That’s just miaow though, everything that he/she didn’t agree with would get that sort of response. It’s not wumming or antagonising to disagree with you, just like it isn’t trolling to not rate a certain player either. It’s time to drop the act now because it’s very sad. You just can’t help not replying when something doesn’t go your way.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 4:58 pm

Have to agree with Mikey. We’ve talked a lot about outside centre on here lately, and the lack of options in that position due to injuries. We’ve talked about Tompkins, about North playing there, about Watkin coming straight back in, about Jonny McNicol perhaps being able to play there, someone mentioned Amos, even Adams was discussed or suggested. At no point do I remember Corey Baldwin being mentioned or suggested so I’m not sure he was that close to a call up. I don’t think that’s trolling to say so though.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 5:05 pm

Yeah pretty much. Just imagine if we vouched for someone playing more consistently though, like Adam Warren. That would be ‘Dragons bias’ Rolling Eyes

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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 8:32 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:It’s time to drop the act now because it’s very sad. You just can’t help not replying when something doesn’t go your way.

Ha. Kettle and pot!

Back to the non troll world, hopeully Baldwin leaving won't be a trend because these aren't players like Carre or Wainwright who are signing before they've really made any sort of mark in Wales. As expected the 5 year residency rule has just seen the big wealthy clubs turn their eyes to younger academy players and now even uncapped players as well. Everyone wants their own Rees-Zammitt by the looks of things. Best of luck to him but Welsh rugby is in a state and we cannot afford to lose top talents like Baldwin.

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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 8:34 pm

The Oracle wrote:Have to agree with Mikey.  We’ve talked a lot about outside centre on here lately, and the lack of options in that position due to injuries.  We’ve talked about Tompkins, about North playing there, about Watkin coming straight back in, about Jonny McNicol perhaps being able to play there, someone mentioned Amos, even Adams was discussed or suggested.  At no point do I remember Corey Baldwin being mentioned or suggested so I’m not sure he was that close to a call up.  I don’t think that’s trolling to say so though.

I think that's a great point. Not too many fans seem to watch that much Welsh rugby anymore (hard to do without Premier Sport) but still talk with self ordained authority.

Have either of you seen Baldwin play a game yet? Fair enough if not.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 8:45 pm

miaow are you still keeping up this pathetic act? The comments and accusations, coupled with the lame attempts to get the last word in or attempt to be clever is identical. It's still at the point where nobody can or wants to debate with you.

FYI you once reported me for saying RP isn't good enough, somebody else even called you out on it. Now this with Baldwin and Hughes. Lunacy.

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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 8:51 pm

Your memory for antagonism is impressive. I can only wonder how much better your life would be if you directed those efforts in to something more productive. You win nothing from trolling. Calling the Scarlets club captain 'below average' because you think it will rile me up (either you think I just support the Scarlets or maybe you really do think I'm miaow who I believe was a Scarlet) is pathetic not to mention incorrect. As I said it's average to poor. 'Blowing out other peoples candles won't make yours shine brighter'.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 8:58 pm

miaow, like normal people on here keep telling you, it's not antagonism to disagree with you and call you out for being a fake. You have to be pretty sad to think I'm trying to rile you up when we're talking about Baldwin, etc. Try and be less self-obsessed? I actually did have a feeling you would follow up with this pathetic behaviour though, all because I don't rate a Scarlets' player Rolling Eyes - same old story just a different disguise (and not a very good one).

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 8:58 pm

guestalt_physicality wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Have to agree with Mikey.  We’ve talked a lot about outside centre on here lately, and the lack of options in that position due to injuries.  We’ve talked about Tompkins, about North playing there, about Watkin coming straight back in, about Jonny McNicol perhaps being able to play there, someone mentioned Amos, even Adams was discussed or suggested.  At no point do I remember Corey Baldwin being mentioned or suggested so I’m not sure he was that close to a call up.  I don’t think that’s trolling to say so though.

I think that's a great point. Not too many fans seem to watch that much Welsh rugby anymore (hard to do without Premier Sport) but still talk with self ordained authority.

Have either of you seen Baldwin play a game yet? Fair enough if not.

Yes, but I didn’t instantly think ‘get him in the Wales team now’. Just don’t seem his as ready yet. Sorry. Looks like Gatland, Pivac and Mooar didn’t quite either, but could see the potential (as can I). Again, we’re not all trolling because of that. No need for the sly dig though. We all talk with ‘self ordained authority’, yourself included. Aka having a keen interest in rugby and enough of an opinion to post about it online. Would love to see Baldwin make it into the Wales team. But I’m sure you’ll find some offence in that too.
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Post by Guest on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 9:08 pm

The Oracle wrote:
guestalt_physicality wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Have to agree with Mikey.  We’ve talked a lot about outside centre on here lately, and the lack of options in that position due to injuries.  We’ve talked about Tompkins, about North playing there, about Watkin coming straight back in, about Jonny McNicol perhaps being able to play there, someone mentioned Amos, even Adams was discussed or suggested.  At no point do I remember Corey Baldwin being mentioned or suggested so I’m not sure he was that close to a call up.  I don’t think that’s trolling to say so though.

I think that's a great point. Not too many fans seem to watch that much Welsh rugby anymore (hard to do without Premier Sport) but still talk with self ordained authority.

Have either of you seen Baldwin play a game yet? Fair enough if not.

Yes, but I didn’t instantly think ‘get him in the Wales team now’. Just don’t seem his as ready yet.  Sorry.  Looks like Gatland, Pivac and Mooar didn’t quite either, but could see the potential (as can I).  Again, we’re not all trolling because of that. No need for the sly dig though. We all talk with ‘self ordained authority’, yourself included.  Aka having a keen interest in rugby and enough of an opinion to post about it online. Would love to see Baldwin make it into the Wales team.  But I’m sure you’ll find some offence in that too.

No I agree because he is no ready for Wles ust like Rees Zammit but needs must with injury and unless we go for someone solid like Steff Hughes or even bring back Jamie Roberts, before we all knew about Tompkins, it was a case of scraping the barrel. Baldwin is top class but at least 12 months away from looking test ready I would think. Not disagreeing there at all. You're not trolling I know that. Very simple Exeter wouldn't sign a dud would they and think we both agree with what were saying.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 04 Mar 2020, 9:25 pm

guestalt_physicality wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
guestalt_physicality wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Have to agree with Mikey.  We’ve talked a lot about outside centre on here lately, and the lack of options in that position due to injuries.  We’ve talked about Tompkins, about North playing there, about Watkin coming straight back in, about Jonny McNicol perhaps being able to play there, someone mentioned Amos, even Adams was discussed or suggested.  At no point do I remember Corey Baldwin being mentioned or suggested so I’m not sure he was that close to a call up.  I don’t think that’s trolling to say so though.

I think that's a great point. Not too many fans seem to watch that much Welsh rugby anymore (hard to do without Premier Sport) but still talk with self ordained authority.

Have either of you seen Baldwin play a game yet? Fair enough if not.

Yes, but I didn’t instantly think ‘get him in the Wales team now’. Just don’t seem his as ready yet.  Sorry.  Looks like Gatland, Pivac and Mooar didn’t quite either, but could see the potential (as can I).  Again, we’re not all trolling because of that. No need for the sly dig though. We all talk with ‘self ordained authority’, yourself included.  Aka having a keen interest in rugby and enough of an opinion to post about it online. Would love to see Baldwin make it into the Wales team.  But I’m sure you’ll find some offence in that too.

No I agree because he is no ready for Wles ust like Rees Zammit but needs must with injury and unless we go for someone solid like Steff Hughes or even bring back Jamie Roberts, before we all knew about Tompkins, it was a case of scraping the barrel. Baldwin is top class but at least 12 months away from looking test ready I would think. Not disagreeing there at all. You're not trolling I know that. Very simple Exeter wouldn't sign a dud would they and think we both agree with what were saying.
.

Yes, agreed. They’ve signed a player with huge potential and pretty much there now. Believe it or not the Scarlets (and formerly Llanelli) have always been my 2nd side. Always want them to do well. Love their style of play. Just genuinely couldn’t remember Baldwin being championed for a call up during our recent/current centre crisis. Not just one here but in the media, Twitter, scrum v pundits, etc. It never seemed an option until he’s leaving and now he seems to be the answer! I’d much prefer he stay here. Hopefully he has a link and remains WQ and wants to play for us.

On another note, I think younger and younger players leaving might be an unintended side effect of the 60 cap rule. While it might see players with 60 caps leaving for one last hurrah, it might also encourage the younger ones to leave to get their jollies and experiences in before they’re tied to a region in order to play for Wales. Young, free and breezy youngsters will be tapped up in order to get a few years out of them before they’re encouraged back home.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 12:51 pm

guestalt_physicality wrote: No I agree because he is no ready for Wles ust like Rees Zammit but needs must with injury and unless we go for someone solid like Steff Hughes or even bring back Jamie Roberts, before we all knew about Tompkins, it was a case of scraping the barrel. Baldwin is top class but at least 12 months away from looking test ready I would think. Not disagreeing there at all. You're not trolling I know that. Very simple Exeter wouldn't sign a dud would they and think we both agree with what were saying.

Yeah he isn't ready for Wales, he's barely ready for Scarlets first XV but could potentially play his way into there with more game time. If you don't think he's ready it's confusing as to why you'd say "He won't have been too far away from a call up.." and then get offended when people disagree and reject that statement. Rees-Zammit is a lot more worthy of a place through his amount of game time and stellar form, something else you previously took offence at despite overwhelming evidence.

Despite Hughes playing almost every, if not all Scarlets' games this season he doesn't look international quality. I also remember watching him at U20 level and he wasn't that good back then either.

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Post by Guest on Thu 05 Mar 2020, 2:02 pm

The Oracle wrote:
guestalt_physicality wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
guestalt_physicality wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Have to agree with Mikey.  We’ve talked a lot about outside centre on here lately, and the lack of options in that position due to injuries.  We’ve talked about Tompkins, about North playing there, about Watkin coming straight back in, about Jonny McNicol perhaps being able to play there, someone mentioned Amos, even Adams was discussed or suggested.  At no point do I remember Corey Baldwin being mentioned or suggested so I’m not sure he was that close to a call up.  I don’t think that’s trolling to say so though.

I think that's a great point. Not too many fans seem to watch that much Welsh rugby anymore (hard to do without Premier Sport) but still talk with self ordained authority.

Have either of you seen Baldwin play a game yet? Fair enough if not.

Yes, but I didn’t instantly think ‘get him in the Wales team now’. Just don’t seem his as ready yet.  Sorry.  Looks like Gatland, Pivac and Mooar didn’t quite either, but could see the potential (as can I).  Again, we’re not all trolling because of that. No need for the sly dig though. We all talk with ‘self ordained authority’, yourself included.  Aka having a keen interest in rugby and enough of an opinion to post about it online. Would love to see Baldwin make it into the Wales team.  But I’m sure you’ll find some offence in that too.

No I agree because he is no ready for Wles ust like Rees Zammit but needs must with injury and unless we go for someone solid like Steff Hughes or even bring back Jamie Roberts, before we all knew about Tompkins, it was a case of scraping the barrel. Baldwin is top class but at least 12 months away from looking test ready I would think. Not disagreeing there at all. You're not trolling I know that. Very simple Exeter wouldn't sign a dud would they and think we both agree with what were saying.
.

Yes, agreed. They’ve signed a player with huge potential and pretty much there now.  Believe it or not the Scarlets (and formerly Llanelli) have always been my 2nd side.  Always want them to do well.  Love their style of play.  Just genuinely couldn’t remember Baldwin being championed for a call up during our recent/current centre crisis.  Not just one here but in the media, Twitter, scrum v pundits, etc.  It never seemed an option until he’s leaving and now he seems to be the answer!  I’d much prefer he stay here.  Hopefully he has a link and remains WQ and wants to play for us.

On another note, I think younger and younger players leaving might be an unintended side effect of the 60 cap rule.  While it might see players with 60 caps leaving for one last hurrah, it might also encourage the younger ones to leave to get their jollies and experiences in before they’re tied to a region in order to play for Wales.  Young, free and breezy youngsters will be tapped up in order to get a few years out of them before they’re encouraged back home.

It will be interesting what Exeter do with him. Corey has real pace and power but the way Exeter play they tend to have some solid and workmanike centres or at least that's the impression I get. With Baldwin still being a 'three quarter' in the old terminology I wonder if Exeter will use him like that as a utility back or even just a winger. I'm not sure Cuthbert has quite managed to live up to his promise down there and Hogg will be away a lot of the year. If they see him as a centre then great but staying in Wales would mean he would be playing in a position that's best for club and country. I don't think the media is that switched on to be honest even just in Wales they're not really in touch with too much outside Cardiff and Newport. For a lot of us in the west it seemed obvious that Steff Hughes could do a job for Wales immediately but then we didn't know about Tompkins (who did?) and Baldwin certainly has more about him than Steff. Steff is captain however and a real heartbeat of the team and the region and the Scarlets clearly needed that on the field with at least 3 international centres missing for most of the season and with Ken and other leaders absent as well. Baldwin must be frustrated that he sees his path blocked even when Jon Davies is injured. I can only hope we don't have another Josh Adams situation where he comes back to Wales in 2 years and join the Blues because he feels the Scarlets messed him about. Sometimes patience is necessary and I say he can't be far off because for this tournament given who we have lost he is perhaps next in line as a 13 but more importantly in the next 12 months he might be ready on his own to be pushing Tompkins. My other thought though is this means Tompkins is joining the Scarlets which would also seem plausible and a good reason for him to jump ship even if Jon Davies and Hadleigh are coming to the end of their careers.

Either way it's not a great situation all round but we're not blessed with that 'standout' talent in Wales and I think Baldwin has some of it. Whether he can use it and 'make it' is another matter. I think you're spot on about the 60 cap rule as well. In many ways it's a good thing having the likes of Exeter and Saracens or even Bristol and Worcester mopping up Welsh players rejected by the regions but it's not great when players are choosing to join them even when they have a solid offer on the table. Welsh rugby needs to sort itself out but I think we all know that. With these boys turning down the chance of Uni then going to England at 19, 20 years of age is definitely the closest they might come to that learning and life experience so good on them (I know there is one Welsh second row who went to Exeter for their university links so there's also that option as well). You can't deny them as men and as humans that right. But as an already established professional it's worrying to be losing a player like Baldwin whatever the case. The Scarlets don't really 'need' Tompkins.

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Post by Guest on Sat 07 Mar 2020, 2:44 pm

Very sad to hear of Matthew Watkins passing away. I met him back in the Stradey days and always thought he was a fine player who deserved more Welsh caps. Puts things in perspective.

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Post by Guest on Sat 07 Mar 2020, 2:50 pm

One last point on the rugby front but we've seen everyone apart from WillGriff John now. Let's hope he starts against Scotland as Pivac gives everyone a go. If they can get him on a fitness programme he might be very useful down in New Zealand but the coaches must have not been overly impressed with what they've seen so far as they've just stuck with Lewis.

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Post by Guest on Sat 07 Mar 2020, 7:52 pm

Rhys Webb. What a player.

Unfortunately Tomos Williams is a poor defender. I can think of a few tries where he has been brushed off now one on one as the last man in defence (De Allende, Ben Smith in the world Cup, today v Watson, and maybe one against France as well I think?). He dropped a high ball under pressure from Itoje as well which is understandable but for me Webb is just a class above in all aspects. Tomos Williams's time will come but he's surely 3rd choice for the forseeable future. Webb took control out there and his extra threat allowed Biggar more time and space and got the forwards playing much better rugby. I think Webb goes back in as first choice for the summer and what a miss he was out in Japan in hindsight given how close that South Africa game was. Shingler showed what he can do from the bench even if he was injured almost immediately. We need a bit more power against a team like England though and even Jake Ball struggled out there today. Will Rolands looks like he has that power so we'll have to wait and see. The back row is excellent and I think Navidi and Moriaty swapping that bench role is the way forward once Faletau gets back up to speed, but it's a hard call to make dropping either of them. We're still maybe missing a bit of ball playing ability at 10 and 12 but Tompkins has changed our backline completely and could we see him at 12 and Davies at 13? I'd suggest maybe not and that his threat is with ball in hand and not distribution. North played well and showed what he can do, Halfpenny was solid, no one else really stood out for me.

We have to beat Scotland now but the signs are promising even if results are frustrating (didn't we all predict this with Pivac?!). If the game goes ahead let's hope there's some rotation. By the looks of things we might be carrying a few walking wounded after that game so it might be out of necessity.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sat 07 Mar 2020, 10:27 pm

3 from 3 losses for Wales. not looking very good this year is it?

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Post by Cyril on Sat 07 Mar 2020, 10:41 pm

I imagine Pivac will be given plenty of time. However, you do feel that Gatland (and especially Edwards) have dragged Wales through a lot of results through sheer force of will. Wales as an attacking force, except when their opponents are diminished, look awfully one-dimensional.

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Post by The Oracle on Sat 07 Mar 2020, 10:47 pm

Cyril wrote:I imagine Pivac will be given plenty of time. However, you do feel that Gatland (and especially Edwards) have dragged Wales through a lot of results through sheer force of will. Wales as an attacking force, except when their opponents are diminished, look awfully one-dimensional.


I have to disagree a bit, sorry Cyril. Under Gatland we were one dimensional. Under Pivac I think we are a bit more varied. Just not quite clicking yet.
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Post by Guest on Sat 07 Mar 2020, 11:56 pm

majesticimperialman wrote: 3 from 3 losses for Wales. not looking very good this year is it?

No not this year. But then we've played rugby that could have put us in sight of a Grand Slam where Gatland might not have. Would Gatland's Wales have beaten both Ireland and England this tournament? Maybe. But we'll never know.

In the long run, i.e. not just this year, Pivac's systems will come good and Wales will likely hit a rich vein of form, playing a style of rugby that suits us. The Scarlets' style of rugby he developed was based on playing rugby off the back foot and we've seen it employed decently against 3 more powerful opponents, but unfortunately we've lost all 3 games, with France being probably the most disappointing, and Ireland being the worst game overall. We did well to compete with and beat the biggest teams in the world. Gatland's record against England and Ireland was decent. His record against South Africa was pretty good as well. He had a good run against the underdogs - who we never really lost to unless we rotated i.e. Samoa, Fiji in the autumn - never losing to Italy and beating France consistently. But his record against Australia and New Zealand was ultimately very poor. I think we stand a better chance of beating both those teams with Pivac at the helm, playing Welsh rugby to our strengths, and not just trying to survive against them. England and Ireland are both better with Gatland's tactics than Wales because they have bigger, stronger players who are better at the arm wrestle. Welsh players to my mind are the best runners and passers of the Home Nations. If we took away all the imported players I think we would be left with the best footballers so it makes sense to 'play football' (but not soccer) now with this new generation of players.

We're already playing running rugby that suits our players much better than Gatlandball did. Certainly with Jamie Roberts retired and never having a reliable running 10 inside him (Anscombe and Roberts seemed to pass each other by on the way up/down) we don't really have the players anymore. Everyone has improved fitness and professionalism that means the edge Gatland and Edwards gave us from 2008-2012ish has all but disappeared. Gatland had ultimately run his course with Wales and in hindsight we did sneak our way to within a kick of the world cup final but we also pushed it close against France. In time hopefully we will find that ability to grind out games and build standards and game awareness so that we get some of what Gatland brought with all the benefits of Pivac and SJ's running style of play. Maybe we won't find it but Gatland wanted to leave his heart is black and so we had to replace him and it was either Pivac or Rennie. We'll have to see how it goes. Pivac will have hit the ground running and given his rotation in the tournament so far he'll be learning a lot about his players: I feel we learnt a big lesson today about our scrum half options and how important Rhys Webb will be to us over the next 2 years at least. Next with is another lesson, and then we have a free shot at shocking the All Blacks in the summer. After that is when the serious work starts and there won't be much room for error going forward. We cannot finish lower than third after this year, we cannot let Ireland (with a non-world class coach at the helm) and a resurgent France pass us by in a season.

Overall I think most Welsh fans are happy to see us scoring tries like Tipuric's today. We want to see Welsh players running the ball and can even accept losing (to a point) if we at least win enough. The one glaring issue at the moment is defence. It is very poor. If we are to defend this loose then we need poachers throughout the team. 2 in the back row for starters but another at centre and another at hooker would be good as well. North adds his fair share as well in that regard. It is the one solution to being less physical than your opponent i.e. winning on the backfoot. If we could find a Welsh Tadhg Beirne that would be ideal but failing that if a few promising players like Basham and Dewi Lake convert their talents to the men's game then we might enjoy success with it.

I wouldn't be too worried about Pivac and Wales. He is dealing with slim pickings at the regions at present and we have the weakest domestic setup out of all 4 nations yet still produce some of the most talented rugby players.

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Post by TightHEAD on Sun 08 Mar 2020, 8:31 am

If you had kept Edwards then you would be in a much better place.

Just think it's best for the 6nations that Italy's games are wiped from the records this year. Wink
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Post by SecretFly on Sun 08 Mar 2020, 10:12 am

The Oracle wrote:
Cyril wrote:I imagine Pivac will be given plenty of time. However, you do feel that Gatland (and especially Edwards) have dragged Wales through a lot of results through sheer force of will. Wales as an attacking force, except when their opponents are diminished, look awfully one-dimensional.


I have to disagree a bit, sorry Cyril. Under Gatland we were one dimensional. Under Pivac I think we are a bit more varied. Just not quite clicking yet.

But you weren't one dimensional. Gatland sides were renowned for their bounce-back-ability. That trick mightn't have won all games where it was employed but it was an extremely effective points hauler in furious endgame periods.
And why? Because caution was thrown to the wind. The ball began to see a lot of air with a lot of pace and evasionary passing thrown in to spook tiring opposition, to create gaps and to chase after a scoreline with quite a high degree of non-fumble elan.

Non-Welsh fans might try to grumble and sneer about Gatland's caricature strategies but we all respected that Welsh machine, and feared it, right to the 80ieth minute and beyond.
So a Gatland team might have been overall more grindingly pragmatic than Pivac's, but Gatland teams had much more spice plus cut and thrust beauty than many now seemingly want to remember.

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