Wales v Italy 6 Nations - Saturday 1st Feb 2020 - match thread

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 12 Dec 2019, 9:00 pm

First topic message reminder :

Wales v Italy match thread

Wales

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Italy

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Teams:

Wales:

L Halfpenny (Scarlets); J McNicholl (Scarlets), G North (Ospreys), H Parkes (Scarlets), J Adams (Cardiff Blues); D Biggar (Northampton), T Williams (Cardiff Blues); W Jones (Scarlets), K Owens (Scarlets), D Lewis (Cardiff Blues), J Ball (Scarlets), A W Jones (Ospreys, capt), A Wainwright (Dragons), J Tipuric (Ospreys), T Faletau (Bath).

Replacements: R Elias (Scarlets), R Evans (Scarlets), L Brown (Dragons), C Hill (Dragons), R Moriarty (Dragons), R Webb (Toulon), J Evans (Cardiff Blues), N Tompkins (Saracens)


15. Matteo Minozzi (Wasps) – 16 caps
14. Leonardo Sarto (Benetton Rugby) – 34 caps
13. Luca Morisi (Benetton Rugby) – 29 caps
12. Carlo Canna (Zebre) – 39 caps
11. Mattia Bellini (Zebre) – 22 caps
10. Tommaso Allan (Benetton Rugby) – 54 caps
9. Callum Braley (Gloucester) – 5 caps

1. Giosuè Zilocchi (Zebre) – 2 caps
2. Luca Bigi (c) (Zebre) – 24 caps
3. Andrea Lovotti (Zebre) – 40 caps
4. Alessandro Zanni (Benetton Rugby) – 117 caps
5. Niccolò Cannone (Benetton Rugby) – uncapped
6. Sebastian Negri (Benetton Rugby) – 22 caps
7. Jake Polledri (Gloucester) – 13 caps
8. Abraham Steyn (Benetton Rugby) – 36 caps

Replacements

16. Federico Zani (Benetton Rugby) – 13 caps
17. Danilo Fischetti (Zebre) – uncapped
18. Marco Riccioni (Benetton Rugby) – 7 caps
19. Marco Lazzaroni (Benetton Rugby) – 4 caps
20. Dean Budd (Benetton Rugby) – 26 caps
21. Giovanni Licata (Zebre) – 8 caps
22. Guglielmo Palazzani (Zebre) – 36 caps
23. Jayden Hayward (Benetton Rugby) – 23 caps


Last edited by The Oracle on Thu 30 Jan 2020, 3:57 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Post by Cyril on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 8:06 am

I don’t see how there can be any complaints about player release (just pay the compensation!) when Wales are going out of their way to pick English players anyway.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 8:14 am

Crikey, you are on one this morning Cyril laughing

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 8:17 am

Doubt any clubs will be wanting to rock the prl boat in terms of additional releases at present.

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 9:37 am

Gooseberry wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:The English and french based players will return to their clubs tomorrow. To rejoin the squad on Sunday evening.

Could be a mitigating factor in their selection?

Dont know why this was downvoted, I assume you mean because they cant train fully with the squad and their rest during the tournament is limited then on 50/50 calls you'd go for the player. you have greater control over. It seems even more obviou when youre building a new team and way of playing.
Of course the flip side is will you see a Scarlets bias in selection? We get the accusation with every coach whos come from a home club or who gets the lions job, and theres some natural tendency to go for players they know well and know understand the system being coached, how far that strays into loyalty or just blind faith in their boys is difficult to quantify. Theres noone in the squad that stands out as a "really" selection , be interesting to see how heavy the 23 is with them. Theres a fair few in the squad, but thats to be expected as they are by far the best Region over the last couple of years.
Looking at the England baseed players theres a couple of positions where they kind of have to be selected, its hard to see a 23 without Faletau Biggar and Liam Williams, the rest are really peripheral figures with 12 caps between them. Their status in England wont help their cases for pushing for selection, I dont see that as a massively controversial statement.

It’s the way previous decisions have been made and I imagine that is partly to do with the regions wanting the best Welsh players playing for them and not foreign clubs.

Regarding Scarlets selections it would be hard to argue that Scarlets aren’t the best region at the moment and for the last few seasons so I think we would expect a larger amount of Scarlets players than the other regions

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 11:32 am

I'd agree with a heavy Scarlets presence in the squad, but first team I think the Scarlets are farily well balanced with the other regions for representation.  Here's my Scarlets starters, taking into account injuries elsewhere:

Wyn Jones
Ken Owens
Jake Ball
Possibly Gareth Davies - Tomos Williams neck and neck (if not in front) and with Rhys Webb perhaps usurping them if he puts in decent performances.
Hadleigh Parkes
Leigh Halfpenny

So 6 out of 15 for me.  Maybe 5 if starting Tomos W.  So not too Scarlet heavy.  To  be honest, I'm not that bothered if the Wales team is heavily stacked with one region's players.  As long as they're the best at that point in time and are in form.  All subjective though of course.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 11:42 am

Gooseberry wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:The English and french based players will return to their clubs tomorrow. To rejoin the squad on Sunday evening.

Could be a mitigating factor in their selection?

Dont know why this was downvoted, I assume you mean because they cant train fully with the squad and their rest during the tournament is limited then on 50/50 calls you'd go for the player. you have greater control over. It seems even more obviou when youre building a new team and way of playing.
Of course the flip side is will you see a Scarlets bias in selection? We get the accusation with every coach whos come from a home club or who gets the lions job, and theres some natural tendency to go for players they know well and know understand the system being coached, how far that strays into loyalty or just blind faith in their boys is difficult to quantify. Theres noone in the squad that stands out as a "really" selection , be interesting to see how heavy the 23 is with them. Theres a fair few in the squad, but thats to be expected as they are by far the best Region over the last couple of years.
Looking at the England baseed players theres a couple of positions where they kind of have to be selected, its hard to see a 23 without Faletau Biggar and Liam Williams, the rest are really peripheral figures with 12 caps between them. Their status in England wont help their cases for pushing for selection, I dont see that as a massively controversial statement.

Comments by Welsh posters just get downvoted.

I know there's an international window, but do England players also return to their clubs at the same time, or do the RFU say no?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 11:44 am

The Oracle wrote:I'd agree with a heavy Scarlets presence in the squad, but first team I think the Scarlets are farily well balanced with the other regions for representation.  Here's my Scarlets starters, taking into account injuries elsewhere:

Wyn Jones
Ken Owens
Jake Ball
Possibly Gareth Davies - Tomos Williams neck and neck (if not in front) and with Rhys Webb perhaps usurping them if he puts in decent performances.
Hadleigh Parkes
Leigh Halfpenny

So 6 out of 15 for me.  Maybe 5 if starting Tomos W.  So not too Scarlet heavy.  To  be honest, I'm not that bothered if the Wales team is heavily stacked with one region's players.  As long as they're the best at that point in time and are in form.  All subjective though of course.

Maybe 7 if Shingler is considered a starter - gives us another lineout option too. Davies and Williams will probably rotate a bit so I'm not so sure which is the nailed on starter.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 11:55 am

I would really like us to have Navidi, Tipuric and Faletau. I think we get enough lineout options with Tipuric and Faletau from that backrow then, so probably wouldn't expect to see Shingler start.

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 12:35 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:The English and french based players will return to their clubs tomorrow. To rejoin the squad on Sunday evening.

Could be a mitigating factor in their selection?

Dont know why this was downvoted, I assume you mean because they cant train fully with the squad and their rest during the tournament is limited then on 50/50 calls you'd go for the player. you have greater control over. It seems even more obviou when youre building a new team and way of playing.
Of course the flip side is will you see a Scarlets bias in selection? We get the accusation with every coach whos come from a home club or who gets the lions job, and theres some natural tendency to go for players they know well and know understand the system being coached, how far that strays into loyalty or just blind faith in their boys is difficult to quantify. Theres noone in the squad that stands out as a "really" selection , be interesting to see how heavy the 23 is with them. Theres a fair few in the squad, but thats to be expected as they are by far the best Region over the last couple of years.
Looking at the England baseed players theres a couple of positions where they kind of have to be selected, its hard to see a 23 without Faletau Biggar and Liam Williams, the rest are really peripheral figures with 12 caps between them. Their status in England wont help their cases for pushing for selection, I dont see that as a massively controversial statement.

Comments by Welsh posters just get downvoted.

I know there's an international window, but do England players also return to their clubs at the same time, or do the RFU say no?

The EPS agreement means they have control of the named players for the 6 nations. The extended squad tends to get released back. Theres also a cap on games EPS players can play during the season (another point that often gets missed when discussing the relative costs of running club sides). On top of that England have control of the medical decisions for EPS players, when they have surgeries (just don't mention that to Cipriani), if they are fit for the tests etc. 
Its not quite central contracting or quite the level the Irish in particular take charge of their national players, but it does give primacy to that national side for the elite players.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 1:02 pm

With that in mind it's probably best for us that all our eligible players play here. It strengthens our regions, and our national team will reap the benefits which is still our top earner.

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 7:20 pm

A few weeks ago Pivac announced his elite 38 players he sees as being the ones he is most interested in using, the Professional Rugby Board then take that list and allocate via the WRU the amount each region is given for those players.

It’s not dissimilar to the RFU system or the Irish.

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Post by wayne on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 7:50 pm

maestegmafia wrote:A few weeks ago Pivac announced his elite 38 players he sees as being the ones he is most interested in using, the Professional Rugby Board then take that list and allocate via the WRU the amount each region is given for those players.

It’s not dissimilar to the RFU system or the Irish.

Maes don't you think the timing of these 38 is a bit odd, there is no incentive for any of the Regions to go out and fetch any of the overseas players back into the fold now, you would have thought a perfect time is between seasons. To me this is why we (Ospreys) went after Moriarty, because basically the CVC would pay for him and would cost us very little, and this part of the reason I would not go after Faletau as we would have to pay the large amount, unless of course these 38 are adjusted as and when any Welsh player comes back home, but I haven't heard anything about this.

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Post by maestegmafia on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 8:00 pm

wayne wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:A few weeks ago Pivac announced his elite 38 players he sees as being the ones he is most interested in using, the Professional Rugby Board then take that list and allocate via the WRU the amount each region is given for those players.

It’s not dissimilar to the RFU system or the Irish.

Maes don't you think the timing of these 38 is a bit odd, there is no incentive for any of the Regions to go out and fetch any of the overseas players back into the fold now, you would have thought a perfect time is between seasons. To me this is why we (Ospreys) went after Moriarty, because basically the CVC would pay for him and would cost us very little, and this part of the reason I would not go after Faletau as we would have to pay the large amount, unless of course these 38 are adjusted as and when any Welsh player comes back home, but I haven't heard anything about this.

I think the timing is post RWC rather than anything else

Better that this kicks into gear as soon as possible so the region can plan funding for next season. Now they know what they’re getting maybe they can take advantage of the wage cap over spenders in the English premiership and get a few top welsh lads back..I don’t think the Saracens situation is just related to Saracens, Bath and harlequins are starting to shed contracts at the moment.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 9:25 pm

The good thing about the 38 and funding ‘banding’ system is that the players can’t earn more at another region, if I understand it correctly. Therefore, it’s not as easy for regions to lure players away. Previously, the Ospreys might have said to Moriarty ‘here, we’ll give you an extra £100k if you come to us’. But now he can’t earn more at the O’s than he does at the Dragons. Not unless the banding is reviewed and I’m guessing all 38 will be reviewed at the same time in a couple of years. So Moriarty has less to gain from leaving and might be more easily persuaded to stay.

I’d disagree that there is no incentive to get players back. They only have to pay 20% of the wages, so by getting a Liam Williams, for example, the Scarlets get a top level international for the big games (maybe 10-15 games a year?), a heap of experience, a crowd puller and marketing tool, etc. at only maybe £100k spend (based on a £500k contract - total guess). Previously they’d foot all £500k for a player only there for 10-15 games. So much more cost effective now.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 9:29 pm

It makes you wonder who's in the 38 though. I wouldn't put Nicky Smith or Dillon Lewis in there eating up the wages. If the new caps are good then ideally you would want to bring in Rees-Zammit, Tompkins, Rowlands, along with Faletau into that 38.

Also assuming the budgets have been confirmed (in private) now, because Regions are getting their players to extend contracts.

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Post by wayne on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 9:44 pm

The Oracle wrote:The good thing about the 38 and funding ‘banding’ system is that the players can’t earn more at another region, if I understand it correctly.  Therefore, it’s not as easy for regions to lure players away.  Previously, the Ospreys might have said to Moriarty ‘here, we’ll give you an extra £100k if you come to us’.  But now he can’t earn more at the O’s than he does at the Dragons.  Not unless the banding is reviewed and I’m guessing all 38 will be reviewed at the same time in a couple of years.  So Moriarty has less to gain from leaving and might be more easily persuaded to stay.  

I’d disagree that there is no incentive to get players back.  They only have to pay 20% of the wages, so by getting a Liam Williams, for example, the Scarlets get a top level international for the big games (maybe 10-15 games a year?), a heap of experience, a crowd puller and marketing tool, etc. at only maybe £100k spend (based on a £500k contract - total guess).  Previously they’d foot all £500k for a player only there for 10-15 games.  So much more cost effective now.

Oracle I agree with your first paragraph, and from the dates of the 38 being announced both Sanjay and Webby will be in the nominated numbers, but probably the 38 have all been told, so what happens if one of the 38 has signed a 2 or 3 year contract as some have already done what happens if say Ospreys wants to sign Faletau does the already signed player is told your contract is null and void. I personally would not want to pay Faletau his full wages, I'm happy to soldier on with Evans, Baker and Morris for my No 8 options, we have much more important positions to bolster.

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Post by The Oracle on Wed 22 Jan 2020, 10:26 pm

wayne wrote:
The Oracle wrote:The good thing about the 38 and funding ‘banding’ system is that the players can’t earn more at another region, if I understand it correctly.  Therefore, it’s not as easy for regions to lure players away.  Previously, the Ospreys might have said to Moriarty ‘here, we’ll give you an extra £100k if you come to us’.  But now he can’t earn more at the O’s than he does at the Dragons.  Not unless the banding is reviewed and I’m guessing all 38 will be reviewed at the same time in a couple of years.  So Moriarty has less to gain from leaving and might be more easily persuaded to stay.  

I’d disagree that there is no incentive to get players back.  They only have to pay 20% of the wages, so by getting a Liam Williams, for example, the Scarlets get a top level international for the big games (maybe 10-15 games a year?), a heap of experience, a crowd puller and marketing tool, etc. at only maybe £100k spend (based on a £500k contract - total guess).  Previously they’d foot all £500k for a player only there for 10-15 games.  So much more cost effective now.

Oracle I agree with your first paragraph, and from the dates of the 38 being announced both Sanjay and Webby will be in the nominated numbers, but probably the 38 have all been told, so what happens if one of the 38 has signed a 2 or 3 year contract as some have already done what happens if say Ospreys wants to sign Faletau does the already signed player is told your contract is null and void. I personally would not want to pay Faletau his full wages, I'm happy to soldier on with Evans, Baker and Morris for my No 8 options, we have much more important positions to bolster.

Yes, good question Wayne. I’ve no idea I’m afraid! I think the 38 would be set and then reviewed in a few years, maybe 3? Anyone outside would need to be funded in full. For example Faletau, as you mentioned. Or if an awesome welsh qualified player emerged next year then he’d need to be funded by the region until the next tranche of ‘38’ funding came about. That’s my guess anyway. It’s why there have been headlines stating ‘Welsh regions scrambling to sign up Welsh Internationals’, or similar. They’re getting a bargain for those they think (or know from internal leaks) are in the 38.

I’d agree about Faletau too - best to sit tight rather than pay all of his wages. But then, I’m OK with the 60+ cap players playing outside Wales. Would love to see them back in Wales, but don’t mind too much when they’ve had a good innings in Wales and look to pastures new later on in their careers. And that’s what the 60 cap rule is meant to be all about.
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Post by maestegmafia on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 9:50 am

I am presuming there will be a new elite 38 list at the end of the season?

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Post by wayne on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 10:40 am

maestegmafia wrote:I am presuming there will be a new elite 38 list at the end of the season?

No Maes, I think it's Adam Beard and Owen Watkin have signed on for 2 and 3 years (not sure which is which), that is just with the Ospreys, there are probably more at the other Regions, this is why I said it is an unusual time to put out the 38 names, unless they are going to increase these numbers they've put themselves into a corner.

Why doesn't somebody with the inclination and time to put up what they think the 38 is at the moment, we can then debate, who we think would be told your contract is null and void to fetch in the likes of Faletau, Francis etc. Why not name 2 in every position and the extra 8 the positions that are normally on the bench for all games. The back row would be very hard to sort out IMO.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 12:18 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/51211713

North has played the last two games at outside centre for Ospreys against Munster and Saracens and is now training in the position with the Wales squad.

Also no Scott Williams in the squad. Food for thought, as a few of us were criticised for suggesting this before the squad announcement.

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Post by maestegmafia on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 12:22 pm

wayne wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:I am presuming there will be a new elite 38 list at the end of the season?

No Maes, I think it's Adam Beard and Owen Watkin have signed on for 2 and 3 years (not sure which is which), that is just with the Ospreys, there are probably more at the other Regions,  this is why I said it is an unusual time to put out the 38 names, unless they are going to increase these numbers they've put themselves into a corner.

Why doesn't somebody with the inclination and time to put up what they think the 38 is at the moment, we can then debate, who we think would be told your contract is null and void to fetch in the likes of Faletau, Francis etc. Why not name 2 in every position and the extra 8 the positions that are normally on the bench for all games. The back row would be very hard to sort out IMO.

Could take some time maybe later this evening.

The list hasn’t been published so far as I am aware.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 23 Jan 2020, 12:30 pm

The current squad is 38 players. Of the ones playing in Wales I cannot see Halfpenny, Webb (soon to be), Shingler, Seb Davies, Parkes being on the list - the reasons being: age is not on their side for most of them; they are in positions where we have depth; whilst others probably aren't in good enough form to be in the 32 man squad (Seb Davies). AWJ is the exception but could possibly be bowing out at some point early in this cycle, whilst I envision Parkes only playing international rugby for one more season.

So that's potentially 6 positions that could be taken up by players playing in England. That's also not considering injured players who will probably return to the squad; Ellis Jenkins, JD2, Halaholo, Patchell, Anscombe.

Just listing the ones in and around the squad, the players in England which could and should strengthen our regions - therefore the national team; Francis, John, Carre, Faletau, Rowlands, Tompkins, Biggar, Owen Williams, Rees-Zammit, Holmes.

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Post by maestegmafia on Fri 24 Jan 2020, 11:04 pm

wales online wrote:

Presumed Wales team vs Italy next Saturday

15, Halfpenny
14, McNicholl
13, North
12, Parkes
11, Adams
10, Biggar
9, Tomos Williams
1, Wyn Jones
2, Owens
3, John
4, Ball
5 Alun Wyn Jones
6, Shingler
7, Tipuric
8 Faletau

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 24 Jan 2020, 11:33 pm

That’s not far off what I said, but the starting XV is quite easy to predict anyway. It’ll be interesting to see the bench.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 7:40 am

Bench of :-

Dee
Evans
Lewis
Hill
Navidi
Webb
Williams
Tmpikins


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Post by The Oracle on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 7:45 am

Pivac might go for Shingler due to familiarity and preference from his time at Scarlets, but personally I'd prefer Wainwright on form. Don't think he's put a foot wrong, he's in great form, very dynamic and is the man in possession of the jersey. Not sure I've seen enough from Shingler on his return from injury to warrant a first team recall just yet. I'm a big Shingler fan though. Just waiting for him to return to that awesome form from 2 years ago.

I might start Zammit too. Maybe it's the knock he took the other day? If not then I can't see when he would start, if not against Italy!


Last edited by The Oracle on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 12:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 8:04 am

The Oracle wrote:Pivac might go for Shingler due to familiarity and preference from his time at Scarlets, but personally I'd prefer Wainwright on form. Don't think he's put a foot wrong, he's in great form, very dynamic and is the man in possession of the jersey. Not sure I've seen enough from Shingler on his return from injury to warrant a first team recall just yet. I'm a big Shingler fan though. Nuat waiting for him to return to that awesome form from 2 years ago.

I might start Zammit too. Maybe it's the knock he took the other day? If not then I can't see when he would start, if not against Italy!

I agree I would be keen to start a few others. I would like to see Owen Williams over Parks with Tompkins at 13, Zammit on the wing and McNicoll at Fullback.

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Post by The Oracle on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 12:54 pm

I think we need to balance it though. Too many changes and it will all go to sh**! While I like the idea of starting the new caps as it's 'only Italy' I think it would be a risk having two new caps in Zammit and Tompkins, Owen Williams who has been out for a long time and McNicholl who is still relatively new. Hmmm. I'd start some and have others on the bench for a decent 30 or 40 mins.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 1:20 pm

Yeah John and McNicholl as the new caps seems like a safe option. It means that one of Tompkins of RZ misses out though, likely to be one of them on the bench if we're starting with Parkes and North.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 5:06 pm

Faletau apparently hurt again today. Fingers crossed for him.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 25 Jan 2020, 7:18 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Faletau apparently hurt again today. Fingers crossed for him.

Post match he is apparently fine and laughed it off. Saying “next time maybe I shouldn’t run in to two guys”...!

Will be reporting to the Vale on Monday.

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Post by RiscaGame on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 12:24 am

Great news then. The way twitter blew up, it seemed pretty serious.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 8:33 am

RiscaGame wrote:Great news then. The way twitter blew up, it seemed pretty serious.

I think everyone at the ground thought it was too. Medics attended him very quickly.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sun 26 Jan 2020, 3:39 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Yeah John and McNicholl as the new caps seems like a safe option. It means that one of Tompkins of RZ misses out though, likely to be one of them on the bench if we're starting with Parkes and North.

I really want to see Tomkins given a run at 13. He’ll do more damage than North. I’d also like to see someone other than Parkes at 12 get a chance, hopefully Owen W as I really liked what he did there a few years ago.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 6:44 am

I’m guessing that they’ll announce the team on Thursday.

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Post by RiscaGame on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 10:18 am

11am Thursday, according to Chris Kirwan of the South Wales Argus.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 10:26 am

RiscaGame wrote:11am Thursday, according to Chris Kirwan of the South Wales Argus.

Brilliant well found, I am hoping to have a look at a few of the new players

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Post by chris_501 on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 12:57 pm

maestegmafia wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:11am Thursday, according to Chris Kirwan of the South Wales Argus.

Brilliant well found, I am hoping to have a look at a few of the new players

I've got a feeling that it will very much be the more tried and tested players in the starting XV, but hopefully the newer players in the squad take their chance when given it off the bench.

I can't blame Pivac for going with the 'knowns', if we see that Wales continue to be a force through this 6N and play well in the summer tour, I'm sure Pivac will slowly put his imprints on this team. He has a hell of a job following Gats, and an experimental team leading to some bad losses won't do him any favours, but if, as fans, we see that he is keeping a relative level of success, he will certainly get more time, and more allowances.

I am particularly keen to see where the centre partnership goes over the next 12 months. I like Owen Williams, and from what I've seen Tompkins has huge potential. If playing North at 13 works, it gives us more options, we look pretty well stacked with good back 3 players.

One other area is increasing our dynamic ball carrying in the pack. As good as AWJ is, I don't feel this is his strength, Jake Ball has complimented him well. Dee and Elias look like they could add this, as well as Wainwright and Ellis Jenkins in the back row.


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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 1:02 pm

I can't help thinking that North is going to be a liability in defence against better sides. It's such an important position defensively and he can be quite flat-footed at times.

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Post by chris_501 on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 2:00 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I can't help thinking that North is going to be a liability in defence against better sides. It's such an important position defensively and he can be quite flat-footed at times.

I have to agree a little, but what if he becomes a revelation at 13 with ball in hands? I get the feeling that Pivac is a coach who looks more on what players can bring to a team rather than what they can't. Although it's always a balance.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 2:16 pm

Has he ever been much of a distributor? I can remember tries going begging because he hasn't looked for support.

I just think other countries' attack coaches would love us to play him at outside centre.

N.B. I know he's played there before.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 2:32 pm

chris_501 wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I can't help thinking that North is going to be a liability in defence against better sides. It's such an important position defensively and he can be quite flat-footed at times.

I have to agree a little, but what if he becomes a revelation at 13 with ball in hands? I get the feeling that Pivac is a coach who looks more on what players can bring to a team rather than what they can't. Although it's always a balance.


Yeah its not like Roberts was an all round skilled player. Sometimes players might be on trick ponies, but f that tricks good enough you can work out things around them and having such power and pace in that position forces the opposition to rejig their defence to cope with it.

That said I still feel at this point picking North at 13 would very much be a case of making the best of a bad situation rather than being and ideal first choice situation. Think it was a different thread but its been said before if he can improve on his passing and be more natural in defending from that position then he would be a better option, but thats not going to happen overnight and needs to be worked on long term. If the player, wales coaches and his club coaches all get on that bus then fine thsi time next year he might be a quality option. 

But right now you do feel his selection at 13 would be a mixture of wanting him on the pitch and doing a job to fill in at a time when the wing resources are stronger than the centres.

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Post by maestegmafia on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 2:35 pm

When North has played 13 I think he looks very good in attack.

I would rather we play Tompkins at 13 who has experience and has proved it at club level and maybe look to bring North in gradually.

Tompkins and Parkes are our two most in form centres and the two most experienced that are fit and in the squad...!

North is a risky selection. Give him time and he could be a great 13, but we already have a great 13 in Tompkins.

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Post by Gooseberry on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 2:58 pm

maestegmafia wrote:When North has played 13 I think he looks very good in attack.

I would rather we play Tompkins at 13 who has experience and has proved it at club level and maybe look to bring North in gradually.

Tompkins and Parkes are our two most in form centres and the two most experienced that are fit and in the squad...!

North is a risky selection. Give him time and he could be a great 13, but we already have a great 13 in Tompkins.

I think when people can agree on how his names spelt you can start calling Tompkins a great 13. But right now hes a lad who's done some flashy stuff at club level and who's stock has suddenly raised now people have realised hes (sort of) Welsh. People who are raving about him were asking if he was any good a few weeks ago. 

I guess you could argue its the same either way, theres a young OC just hitting his prime who could grow into a great test player or a great test player who could grow into a different role. But both would be fairly raw starting a 6 nations at 13, just in slightly different ways. 

Really it may come down to how Pivac wants them to play, and how they are combining in training. It feels like one of those calls thats going to be wrong to some people however it pans out. But I do tend to side with your view for now. if Tompkins were 21 Id be less sure, but hes fairly experienced by new cap standards in the modern game and has played at the highest levels in club rugby. 

Starting wing 13 or bench North would be a handy option in the 23 though.

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 3:11 pm

I thought from comments on here that Tompkins was more of a 12???
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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 3:22 pm

12 and 13.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 27 Jan 2020, 3:24 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:I can't help thinking that North is going to be a liability in defence against better sides. It's such an important position defensively and he can be quite flat-footed at times.

I guess we better play Scott Williams there then...

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 9:30 am

Wales online and Scrum V both selected the following Wales team

1/2p
McNicoll
George
Parkes
Josh
Bigs
Tomos
Toby
Tips
Wainwright
AWJ
HILL
Wyn
Ken
Leon

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 9:56 am

Decent.

I do get the feeling Leon Brown will start, judging by comments by Humphreys.

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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 28 Jan 2020, 10:34 am

RiscaGame wrote:Decent.

I do get the feeling Leon Brown will start, judging by comments by Humphreys.

He’s had a great season so far...! Deserves to be amongst it. I’m keen, and I know a few others are too, to see John get his first Cap off the bench is fine.

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