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The Wales squad - Scotland, Autumn Nations Cup, and beyond

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 22 Sep 2020, 10:06 pm

First topic message reminder :

Wayne Pivac will announce the squad on October 6th, likely to be a Scarlet-heavy selection and rightly so. I would also like to see new players come in so we can see what they have to offer. 

Wales might play France on October 24th in warm-up, but there is currently some doubt on whether this will go ahead. Next up is the re-arranged 6N match with Scotland on October 31st. In the autumn nations cup Wales will face-off against Ireland, England, Georgia and either France, Fiji, Italy or Scotland. 

Venues to be announced.

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 02 Mar 2021, 8:20 pm

That was annoying when Gatland kept picking Cuthbert and Priestland among others regardless of their form, and we're talking like 10-20 extra caps after their dip in form. That's about the time when the fans turned on said players. What also made me chuckle with said 'fans' is that they were writing off Dragons' players like Leon Brown on his 2nd cap. Funny you don't hear much of that now, especially after the persistence with Elias and Lewis.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 03 Mar 2021, 8:06 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I thought Byron Haywood finished on his own behalf... Headscratch

Really? Too bad chris can't give Pivac credit for firing him then!

Didn't he finish because of his Christian beliefs ? Him and Warburton both went because of the drinking culture that was brought in by a certain few.

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Post by Oakdene Wed 03 Mar 2021, 8:39 am

mikey_dragon wrote:That was annoying when Gatland kept picking Cuthbert and Priestland among others regardless of their form, and we're talking like 10-20 extra caps after their dip in form. That's about the time when the fans turned on said players. What also made me chuckle with said 'fans' is that they were writing off Dragons' players like Leon Brown on his 2nd cap. Funny you don't hear much of that now, especially after the persistence with Elias and Lewis.

I'll be honest, I have had my doubts over Brown & I was worried when he came on against Ireland when they had a scrum on our 5m line but he has done well now he has been given the chance. Will be interesting to see where he fits in when all the props are fit & firing but I thought him & Dee went really well when they came on against England.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 03 Mar 2021, 9:02 am

LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I thought Byron Haywood finished on his own behalf... Headscratch

Really? Too bad chris can't give Pivac credit for firing him then!

Didn't he finish because of his Christian beliefs ? Him and Warburton both went because of the drinking culture that was brought in by a certain few.

Not entirely sure where you're getting this from, but I think we all know that Hayward had to go because our defence was pathetic under him. He didn't have good pedigree coming into the role tbh.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 03 Mar 2021, 9:09 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I thought Byron Haywood finished on his own behalf... Headscratch

Really? Too bad chris can't give Pivac credit for firing him then!

Didn't he finish because of his Christian beliefs ? Him and Warburton both went because of the drinking culture that was brought in by a certain few.

Not entirely sure where you're getting this from, but I think we all know that Hayward had to go because our defence was pathetic under him. He didn't have good pedigree coming into the role tbh.

Just the talk I was hearing at the time to be honest, he might not have been the best, but he was Pivac's mate at the end of the day. Him and Warburton walked because they did not like the culture.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 03 Mar 2021, 9:16 am

LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I thought Byron Haywood finished on his own behalf... Headscratch

Really? Too bad chris can't give Pivac credit for firing him then!

Didn't he finish because of his Christian beliefs ? Him and Warburton both went because of the drinking culture that was brought in by a certain few.

Not entirely sure where you're getting this from, but I think we all know that Hayward had to go because our defence was pathetic under him. He didn't have good pedigree coming into the role tbh.

Just the talk I was hearing at the time to be honest, he might not have been the best, but he was Pivac's mate at the end of the day. Him and Warburton walked because they did not like the culture.

Hayward must have known he was out of his depth and walked away. Warburton didn't drink when he played, none of the guys did. I'm all for the guys having a beer and unwinding now and then. If they have 2-3 games on consecutive weekends and don't drink then that's good discipline. If they have a tipple on away trips then I think that's okay too. I can't imagine there ever being a huge drinking culture with AWJ and Gethin Jenkins involved.

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Post by The Oracle Wed 03 Mar 2021, 9:39 am

LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I thought Byron Haywood finished on his own behalf... Headscratch

Really? Too bad chris can't give Pivac credit for firing him then!

Didn't he finish because of his Christian beliefs ? Him and Warburton both went because of the drinking culture that was brought in by a certain few.

Not entirely sure where you're getting this from, but I think we all know that Hayward had to go because our defence was pathetic under him. He didn't have good pedigree coming into the role tbh.

Just the talk I was hearing at the time to be honest, he might not have been the best, but he was Pivac's mate at the end of the day. Him and Warburton walked because they did not like the culture.

Would Byron Hayward have been able to stick any job in rugby then? Sure I've seen plenty of photos over the years of Scarlets players enjoying a beer after a win during the Pivac and Hayward years. Plus, how much of a drinking culture could it have been in the Wales camp really? Most of his time with Wales was during the Pandemic wasn't it?! I think it was only the 2019 Autumn series when it wasn't the pandemic and then he left the next Autumn while still during the pandemic. Not much opportunity for going out drinking!
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Post by chris_501 Wed 03 Mar 2021, 10:56 am

Senior players in AWJ, North, Tipuric, Faletau, JD2, Owens, Halfpenny, Biggar. I just can't see that happening I'm afraid.

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Post by Gooseberry Wed 03 Mar 2021, 4:25 pm

If teh players cant keep out of the pub at the moment then they really do have a problem.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Mar 2021, 11:21 am

Kieran Hardy has been released, due to his hamstring injury. Real shame.

Aaron Wainwright and Owen Watkin have been released for game time this weekend.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 04 Mar 2021, 11:46 am

RiscaGame wrote:Kieran Hardy has been released, due to his hamstring injury. Real shame.

Aaron Wainwright and Owen Watkin have been released for game time this weekend.

I thought he would, I did bring it up earlier, I thought at the time it looked a bit serious. Are they calling up a replacement ? Hopefully Webb.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Mar 2021, 11:50 am

I did wonder if there would be a replacement, but then I think Tomos Williams is still part of the squad and I guess he is available for selection against Italy.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 04 Mar 2021, 11:56 am

RiscaGame wrote:I did wonder if there would be a replacement, but then I think Tomos Williams is still part of the squad and I guess he is available for selection against Italy.

At least he is in better form than Davies.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 04 Mar 2021, 12:11 pm

A third 9 is required so they should call up Webb, unless Lloyd Williams is still in? If you want a scrum-half to come into the 23 and make a difference then it's Rhys Webb.

A shame for Hardy though, because on that form he probably would have started the next two games. He was still a bit hit and miss for me, but he is learning fast.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 04 Mar 2021, 12:42 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:A third 9 is required so they should call up Webb, unless Lloyd Williams is still in? If you want a scrum-half to come into the 23 and make a difference then it's Rhys Webb.

A shame for Hardy though, because on that form he probably would have started the next two games. He was still a bit hit and miss for me, but he is learning fast.

Webb didn't want to be involved in the squad as he was seen as the 3rd choice & he made it clear he would rather spend time with his family than bubble up with Wales.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 04 Mar 2021, 12:56 pm

Lloyd Williams is in, so we have three. I didn't know he was officially called up, I thought it was just cover. Tomos Williams seems to be training too.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 04 Mar 2021, 1:30 pm

Oakdene wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:A third 9 is required so they should call up Webb, unless Lloyd Williams is still in? If you want a scrum-half to come into the 23 and make a difference then it's Rhys Webb.

A shame for Hardy though, because on that form he probably would have started the next two games. He was still a bit hit and miss for me, but he is learning fast.

Webb didn't want to be involved in the squad as he was seen as the 3rd choice & he made it clear he would rather spend time with his family than bubble up with Wales.

He wasn't and still isn't third choice, that's the issue. If he said no, even though I haven't seen evidence for that then fair enough. I have seen a lot of evidence to suggest Webb is better than third choice though.


Just a few changes to Italy for me. I would look at maybe Jarrod Evans, Carre and John on the bench, and leave AWJ out of the 23.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 04 Mar 2021, 2:02 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:A third 9 is required so they should call up Webb, unless Lloyd Williams is still in? If you want a scrum-half to come into the 23 and make a difference then it's Rhys Webb.

A shame for Hardy though, because on that form he probably would have started the next two games. He was still a bit hit and miss for me, but he is learning fast.

Webb didn't want to be involved in the squad as he was seen as the 3rd choice & he made it clear he would rather spend time with his family than bubble up with Wales.

He wasn't and still isn't third choice, that's the issue. If he said no, even though I haven't seen evidence for that then fair enough. I have seen a lot of evidence to suggest Webb is better than third choice though.


Just a few changes to Italy for me. I would look at maybe Jarrod Evans, Carre and John on the bench, and leave AWJ out of the 23.

Webb said ""Like you said, if I was in the squad as third choice, yeah I’d much rather be outside of the camp and with the Ospreys and helping my partner and their kids with their schoolwork in the house. We’re going through a global pandemic and it is slightly unfair on the wives and partners looking after the kids on their own with no help."

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 04 Mar 2021, 2:51 pm

Oakdene wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:A third 9 is required so they should call up Webb, unless Lloyd Williams is still in? If you want a scrum-half to come into the 23 and make a difference then it's Rhys Webb.

A shame for Hardy though, because on that form he probably would have started the next two games. He was still a bit hit and miss for me, but he is learning fast.

Webb didn't want to be involved in the squad as he was seen as the 3rd choice & he made it clear he would rather spend time with his family than bubble up with Wales.

He wasn't and still isn't third choice, that's the issue. If he said no, even though I haven't seen evidence for that then fair enough. I have seen a lot of evidence to suggest Webb is better than third choice though.


Just a few changes to Italy for me. I would look at maybe Jarrod Evans, Carre and John on the bench, and leave AWJ out of the 23.

Webb said ""Like you said, if I was in the squad as third choice, yeah I’d much rather be outside of the camp and with the Ospreys and helping my partner and their kids with their schoolwork in the house. We’re going through a global pandemic and it is slightly unfair on the wives and partners looking after the kids on their own with no help."

You seem to be avoiding the Pivac-selection issue that I highlighted. Do you have any links for that quote so I can go read it? (Would have been easier if you just posted that in the first place).

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Post by chris_501 Thu 04 Mar 2021, 3:54 pm

It’s the same ScrumV interview that I’ve spoken about before. At the start of the tournament, I’d have selected Williams and Davies ahead of Webb. Hardy would have been included as more experience looking to the future, but has actually proven to be a great selection in his own right.
Selecting Webb on the basis of expecting two of your top 3 scrum halves to get injured would be speculative to say the least!

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 04 Mar 2021, 4:20 pm

Webb was in better form than Davies and both Williams', and arguably Hardy so it's hardly a controversial call, nor is it speculative. Still a lack of info for this interview that apparently took place, but it's disappointing if true.

If Hardy wasn't injured then I'd see no need to drop him, we can only speculate on what might have happened if both Webb and Hardy were in the squad/23. Not saying I would pick Webb anyway given the fact he was poor against France, but if he was in the squad he would have been in my 23 for the next match, and probably the match after instead of Gareth Davies.

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Post by chris_501 Thu 04 Mar 2021, 5:58 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09592y4

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 04 Mar 2021, 7:58 pm

Right so Pivac left Webb out of the Wales squad so that he could improve on his passing, which it seems the majority disagree with. Webb is asked about his feelings on the matter, and tells us why he isn’t too disheartened over it - which some of you have translated as “Webb didn’t want to be in the squad.” I knew there was conjecture here.
It’s the wrong call and poor people management by Pivac, another blunder.

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Post by Oakdene Fri 05 Mar 2021, 8:51 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Right so Pivac left Webb out of the Wales squad so that he could improve on his passing, which it seems the majority disagree with. Webb is asked about his feelings on the matter, and tells us why he isn’t too disheartened over it - which some of you have translated as “Webb didn’t want to be in the squad.” I knew there was conjecture here.
It’s the wrong call and poor people management by Pivac, another blunder.

Haha! Wrong call by a manager who is on course to win a Grand Slam.

Webb doesn't want to be in the squad if he is third choice, you can't deny that. A coach says "you need to work on this" Webb then retorts (childishly) by saying "I'm happy with my game so I'm not going to". And then people moan that Webb is not being selected.

Adam Beard was left out of Pivacs Autumn squad & Pivac said he needed to improve certain aspects of his game, Beard didn't sulk or moan to the press. He manned up, worked hard in training for his region & played really well & as a result he has been brought back into the squad & team.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 05 Mar 2021, 9:01 am

Oakdene wrote:

Adam Beard was left out of Pivacs Autumn squad & Pivac said he needed to improve certain aspects of his game, Beard didn't sulk or moan to the press. He manned up, worked hard in training for his region & played really well & as a result he has been brought back into the squad & team.

I was thinking about this the other day. He does seem to have put a rocket up some players, to be fair to him. Dee pretty similar story too, as much as I didn't agree with him being dropped at the time.

Have to be fair to him on that, although I am still not 100% sold on him.

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Post by Oakdene Fri 05 Mar 2021, 9:07 am

RiscaGame wrote:
Oakdene wrote:

Adam Beard was left out of Pivacs Autumn squad & Pivac said he needed to improve certain aspects of his game, Beard didn't sulk or moan to the press. He manned up, worked hard in training for his region & played really well & as a result he has been brought back into the squad & team.

I was thinking about this the other day. He does seem to have put a rocket up some players, to be fair to him. Dee pretty similar story too, as much as I didn't agree with him being dropped at the time.

Have to be fair to him on that, although I am still not 100% sold on him.

Dee was very good on the weekend.

At the end of the day some people will never like Pivac but he didn't do well in the early days of his tenure at the Scarlets & look what he ended up doing there. One thing people will never take away is that he is the first Welsh coach to have his players put 40 points on England.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 05 Mar 2021, 9:11 am

Oakdene wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Right so Pivac left Webb out of the Wales squad so that he could improve on his passing, which it seems the majority disagree with. Webb is asked about his feelings on the matter, and tells us why he isn’t too disheartened over it - which some of you have translated as “Webb didn’t want to be in the squad.” I knew there was conjecture here.
It’s the wrong call and poor people management by Pivac, another blunder.

Haha! Wrong call by a manager who is on course to win a Grand Slam.

Webb doesn't want to be in the squad if he is third choice, you can't deny that. A coach says "you need to work on this" Webb then retorts (childishly) by saying "I'm happy with my game so I'm not going to". And then people moan that Webb is not being selected.

Adam Beard was left out of Pivacs Autumn squad & Pivac said he needed to improve certain aspects of his game, Beard didn't sulk or moan to the press. He manned up, worked hard in training for his region & played really well & as a result he has been brought back into the squad & team.

There's been an abundance of wrong calls by the manager since he took over, have you been living under a rock?

As I alluded to it's disappointing on Webb's part if that's his reaction, but it was the wrong call by Pivac in the first place. It appears he's correct too, that he doesn't need to work on his passing (something else we've noticed). Oh and what do you know, he's had a few MOTM performances since. We moan because he's a far better player than Lloyd Williams and on form was not third choice.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 05 Mar 2021, 9:14 am

Oakdene wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:
Oakdene wrote:

Adam Beard was left out of Pivacs Autumn squad & Pivac said he needed to improve certain aspects of his game, Beard didn't sulk or moan to the press. He manned up, worked hard in training for his region & played really well & as a result he has been brought back into the squad & team.

I was thinking about this the other day. He does seem to have put a rocket up some players, to be fair to him. Dee pretty similar story too, as much as I didn't agree with him being dropped at the time.

Have to be fair to him on that, although I am still not 100% sold on him.

Dee was very good on the weekend.

At the end of the day some people will never like Pivac but he didn't do well in the early days of his tenure at the Scarlets & look what he ended up doing there. One thing people will never take away is that he is the first Welsh coach to have his players put 40 points on England.

Yeah he had 1 and a half decent seasons, and for rest they weren't very good (particularly the first and last seasons). It was a premature appointment. You don't wait around to win at international level when someone keeps losing. For what it's worth, the team still isn't playing that well either. Turks will never see past their bias.

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Post by Oakdene Fri 05 Mar 2021, 9:15 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Right so Pivac left Webb out of the Wales squad so that he could improve on his passing, which it seems the majority disagree with. Webb is asked about his feelings on the matter, and tells us why he isn’t too disheartened over it - which some of you have translated as “Webb didn’t want to be in the squad.” I knew there was conjecture here.
It’s the wrong call and poor people management by Pivac, another blunder.

Haha! Wrong call by a manager who is on course to win a Grand Slam.

Webb doesn't want to be in the squad if he is third choice, you can't deny that. A coach says "you need to work on this" Webb then retorts (childishly) by saying "I'm happy with my game so I'm not going to". And then people moan that Webb is not being selected.

Adam Beard was left out of Pivacs Autumn squad & Pivac said he needed to improve certain aspects of his game, Beard didn't sulk or moan to the press. He manned up, worked hard in training for his region & played really well & as a result he has been brought back into the squad & team.

There's been an abundance of wrong calls by the manager since he took over, have you been living under a rock?

As I alluded to it's disappointing on Webb's part if that's his reaction, but it was the wrong call by Pivac in the first place. It appears he's correct too, that he doesn't need to work on his passing (something else we've noticed). Oh and what do you know, he's had a few MOTM performances since. We moan because he's a far better player than Lloyd Williams and on form was not third choice.

Webb's reaction was very disappointing, but it's funny he wasn't putting these MOTM performances in before the Welsh squad was announced but now he is.... almost as if he has been working on bits to improve his game.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 05 Mar 2021, 9:19 am

I don't recall but it's likely he had at least one MOTM performance before the squad was picked as he puts them in quite often. If you consider the form of Davies and the fact we didn't know where Hardy was going to fit in (he didn't look great in the ANC either) then it's true that Webb was better than third choice. Pivac got it wrong and hasn't managed it well since. He also picked Elias over Parry which was a shocking call.

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Post by Oakdene Fri 05 Mar 2021, 9:25 am

mikey_dragon wrote:

I don't recall but it's likely he had at least one MOTM performance before the squad was picked as he puts them in quite often. If you consider the form of Davies and the fact we didn't know where Hardy was going to fit in (he didn't look great in the ANC either) then it's true that Webb was better than third choice. Pivac got it wrong and hasn't managed it well since. He also picked Elias over Parry which was a shocking call.

Hardy was always going to be picked as he was the form 9 for the Scarlets & the same for Tomos at the Blues. At the time, Webb & Davies were there or there abouts (at the time, not now - I agree that Webb has been very good for the Ospreys recently) however when Webb discovered he wouldn't be 1st or 2nd choice, he told Pivac he didn't want to be 3rd choice in the squad & would prefer to stay at home with his family.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 05 Mar 2021, 9:33 am

Tidied up a little.

We don't need threads derailed, by posters accusing people of being past users.

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Post by chris_501 Fri 05 Mar 2021, 10:46 am

I think that the fact that the only issues you had with the squad were the 3rd choice scrum halves and the 3rd choice hookers, shows that actually Pivac picked an excellent squad.

As Oakdene said, the impact on dropping Dee and Beard from the start of the Autumn has worked wonders. Webb would have been in the same position, had he not come out with the interview he gave. He now becomes unpickable by Pivac, where had he kept quiet and put in the performances he put in since the start of the 6N, I'm sure he would have been called up before Lloyd Williams.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 05 Mar 2021, 1:11 pm

Well yeah there's that, but also his selections now and in the ANC. He refuses to part ways with Biggar, he probably should have after the game against France. He persisted with Dillon Lewis. He doesn't seem to rate good lock forwards all that highly, guys like Rowlands and Hill - this an area that requires careful succession planning which he doesn't seem to be doing yet. There's no sign of phasing out AWJ and looking for a new captain. JD2 is a selection that worries me and it's been numerously documented why; Halaholo looks class yet we are seeing JD2, Tompkins and Watkin picked over him. Where is the form fly-half in Wales, Jarrod Evans? If he's building as he has claimed then one would think all this is a higher priority than given off.

I didn't hear Webb say in the podcast that he told Pivac he didn't want it? He was asked about his feelings on the matter and answered honestly. I don't know how he feels exactly, but we can assume that he was upset at being labelled third or fourth despite being, arguably, top spot on form. If Pivac didn't get that wrong in the first place we wouldn't be in this situation. We can agree that Webb did himself no favours with that attitude though.

Dee and Beard were off form so they were not picked, you didn't hear any crying from me on that. They were in better form this time around and got picked. Dee isn't a favourite unlike some so we can agree he's doing well to be in.
Again, picking the form players and not picking out form players should be pretty basic for a professional coach. No idea why some keep bending over backwards for Pivac, his record is atrocious and will take years to undo - if he manages it sooner I will be impressed (he would need to win every single game against NH and SH opposition). Arguably it is an excellent squad on the whole, naturally, when you have some excellent players available. Glad John is in now, and hope to see Ioan Lloyd in the next one. Biggar, Elias and Lewis can go.

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Post by chris_501 Fri 05 Mar 2021, 1:36 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Well yeah there's that, but also his selections now and in the ANC. He refuses to part ways with Biggar, he probably should have after the game against France. He persisted with Dillon Lewis. He doesn't seem to rate good lock forwards all that highly, guys like Rowlands and Hill - this an area that requires careful succession planning which he doesn't seem to be doing yet. There's no sign of phasing out AWJ and looking for a new captain. JD2 is a selection that worries me and it's been numerously documented why; Halaholo looks class yet we are seeing JD2, Tompkins and Watkin picked over him. Where is the form fly-half in Wales, Jarrod Evans? If he's building as he has claimed then one would think all this is a higher priority than given off.

I didn't hear Webb say in the podcast that he told Pivac he didn't want it? He was asked about his feelings on the matter and answered honestly. I don't know how he feels exactly, but we can assume that he was upset at being labelled third or fourth despite being, arguably, top spot on form. If Pivac didn't get that wrong in the first place we wouldn't be in this situation. We can agree that Webb did himself no favours with that attitude though.

Dee and Beard were off form so they were not picked, you didn't hear any crying from me on that. They were in better form this time around and got picked. Dee isn't a favourite unlike some so we can agree he's doing well to be in.
Again, picking the form players and not picking out form players should be pretty basic for a professional coach. No idea why some keep bending over backwards for Pivac, his record is atrocious and will take years to undo - if he manages it sooner I will be impressed (he would need to win every single game against NH and SH opposition). Arguably it is an excellent squad on the whole, naturally, when you have some excellent players available. Glad John is in now, and hope to see Ioan Lloyd in the next one. Biggar, Elias and Lewis can go.

I'll give this a go -

1. Biggar is still more than good enough to be in the Wales 23, although I do agree Sheedy has taken his chance and should be the first choice 10 for the rest of the tournament. Biggar was the reason we scored the first try against England and his aerial ability made him the correct choice to start against England in my opinion.

2. He persisted with Dillon Lewis, as the 3rd choice tighthead, with Samson Lee injured (effectively seeing him as number 4). I agree, John has looked decent enough for Sale, but he's not making our first choice 23.

3. Rowlands and Hill have both played in the first 3 matches of the championship?! Beard has been one of our best player, and our captain has also been one of our key players. I'm not sure what you would have done?

4. You talk about phasing out AWJ and looking for a new captain, yet you criticise Pivac for his use of the Autumn to look at players and not winning? Ypou cannot have it both ways.

5. JD2 was solid enough against England, but I agree, he's not on form. Halaholo took his chance well against Scotland, so has then been given game time against England ahead of both Watkin and Tompkin?!

6. Whilst Evans is the best attacking fly half in Wales, whether he has the best all round game for international level, I'm yet to be convinced. People were question whether Sheedy could place kick to a high enough level, his kicking stats are 10% better than Evans' this season.

7. In the interview, when asked about what he thought of Pivac giving him areas to work on, Webb says that he is entitled to his opinion, but that he won't change anything. That is not the attitude of a player I would want in my squad. He was given a chance in the Autumn and did not play any better than any of the other 9s selected.

8. It seems that you are measuring up Pivac to some pretty tough expectations. If you are only going to be won over by him by winning every single game against NH and SH opposition then I am absolutely happy to concede, than in your terms, he will be a failure!

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 05 Mar 2021, 2:04 pm

1. That's not too wide of the mark but it goes back to Pivac's blunders. He didn't begin move Biggar on after France, and he picked an injured Patchell (got injured again). Sheedy should be starting with Biggar on the bench even though he's not been impressive (and usually he would hold himself accountable against his own very high standards).

2. Brown should have been given opportunity over Lewis a lot sooner who let's face it, has been a complete fail. John wouldn't get in the 23 now but it's probably a good idea that he is for Italy, no?

3. I thought they would have had more game time and AWJ more rest by now, is that not advisable? Hill is a smart and skilful player but didn't feature until round 3 and hasn't featured that often under Pivac. His versatility also means he can cover the back 5 of the pack. Beard is the leading player, I wasn't questioning his inclusion.

4. Because that wasn't the case lol, he failed in the ANC and then claimed we were just blooding new players - and even back then he didn't look into phasing out our beloved captain so we can look into finding a new one. Seems like he shot himself in the foot there.

5. What are you asking sorry? Pivac seems to be set on Williams and JD2, when the much better pair are Halaholo and North. I'm saying that JD2 and Tompkins shouldn't make the 23, and that Watkin is pretty average. I really didn't see JD2 do anything against England.

6. Well Jarrod isn't being given the chance to show it exactly, is he? We had to give Sheedy a few chances, I always knew he would make the jersey his own if given the chance, but only now do people love him (after claiming he should be out). It makes me wonder if Pivac sees Jarrod's face fitting in? Seems poor. Now if Jarrod had been involved in the ANC (form player at the time) as he should have been then we might not be having this conversation...

7. Because Pivac seems to have gotten it wrong, before and after the squad selection. Again I do agree that Webb has the wrong attitude and it might be a good idea to apologise rather than keep playing the outcast, seeing as Pivac isn't going to apologise for his blunders.
If you want to argue that, then Biggar didn't play better than any of the fly-halves in the ANC either.

8. You're right those are high expectations. People in Wales seem to have low expectations, that's just not how I work. I'm not sure what our fixture list, but tbh, he was already a failure in some eyes Wink.

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Post by chris_501 Fri 05 Mar 2021, 2:26 pm

Good responses.

I do understand the frustrations with Pivac, I personally don't think we'll consistently hit the heights we did under Gatland, but I don't think we would with any coach in charge.

I like the guy, and it helps that he has two of my favourite ex players now in his coaching team. if we can continue to win, I'll stay happy!

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 05 Mar 2021, 2:50 pm

Thanks Chris, at the end of the day I'm just another 'armchair pundit' - but at least I'm honest and consistent Very Happy. The whole tournament feels a bit hollow for me this year which is a strange feeling, and that isn't the doing of Pivac.

I'm not entirely sold on Gethin Jenkins as a coach yet, but he's a step up on the previous. You definitely want guys like Gethin around though. I hope AWJ moves straight into some sort of coaching role as soon as he stops playing; he can't keep playing but I feel he's a great asset given his knowledge, experience, etc. He's the type of guy who could probably move straight into a role with the national team, but ideally he should cut his cloth first.

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Post by chris_501 Fri 05 Mar 2021, 3:10 pm

So Faletau, Sheedy and Rowlands are all starting for their clubs over the weekend. I would be tempted to rest Faletau for the Italy game, as he also played in the previous fallow week and go with -
6. Botham
7. Tips
8. Navidi

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 07 Mar 2021, 3:46 pm

Should we give Holmes a run? I think Liam Williams should have a rest. LRZ will probably still play because management would want him to rack up a few more tries. Halaholo and North start at centre for me. AWJ, Tips and possibly Faletau rested.

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Post by flyhalffactory Sun 07 Mar 2021, 9:24 pm

chris_501 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Well yeah there's that, but also his selections now and in the ANC. He refuses to part ways with Biggar, he probably should have after the game against France. He persisted with Dillon Lewis. He doesn't seem to rate good lock forwards all that highly, guys like Rowlands and Hill - this an area that requires careful succession planning which he doesn't seem to be doing yet. There's no sign of phasing out AWJ and looking for a new captain. JD2 is a selection that worries me and it's been numerously documented why; Halaholo looks class yet we are seeing JD2, Tompkins and Watkin picked over him. Where is the form fly-half in Wales, Jarrod Evans? If he's building as he has claimed then one would think all this is a higher priority than given off.

I didn't hear Webb say in the podcast that he told Pivac he didn't want it? He was asked about his feelings on the matter and answered honestly. I don't know how he feels exactly, but we can assume that he was upset at being labelled third or fourth despite being, arguably, top spot on form. If Pivac didn't get that wrong in the first place we wouldn't be in this situation. We can agree that Webb did himself no favours with that attitude though.

Dee and Beard were off form so they were not picked, you didn't hear any crying from me on that. They were in better form this time around and got picked. Dee isn't a favourite unlike some so we can agree he's doing well to be in.
Again, picking the form players and not picking out form players should be pretty basic for a professional coach. No idea why some keep bending over backwards for Pivac, his record is atrocious and will take years to undo - if he manages it sooner I will be impressed (he would need to win every single game against NH and SH opposition). Arguably it is an excellent squad on the whole, naturally, when you have some excellent players available. Glad John is in now, and hope to see Ioan Lloyd in the next one. Biggar, Elias and Lewis can go.

I'll give this a go -

1. Biggar is still more than good enough to be in the Wales 23, although I do agree Sheedy has taken his chance and should be the first choice 10 for the rest of the tournament. Biggar was the reason we scored the first try against England and his aerial ability made him the correct choice to start against England in my opinion.

2. He persisted with Dillon Lewis, as the 3rd choice tighthead, with Samson Lee injured (effectively seeing him as number 4). I agree, John has looked decent enough for Sale, but he's not making our first choice 23.

3. Rowlands and Hill have both played in the first 3 matches of the championship?! Beard has been one of our best player, and our captain has also been one of our key players. I'm not sure what you would have done?

4. You talk about phasing out AWJ and looking for a new captain, yet you criticise Pivac for his use of the Autumn to look at players and not winning? Ypou cannot have it both ways.

5. JD2 was solid enough against England, but I agree, he's not on form. Halaholo took his chance well against Scotland, so has then been given game time against England ahead of both Watkin and Tompkin?!

6. Whilst Evans is the best attacking fly half in Wales, whether he has the best all round game for international level, I'm yet to be convinced. People were question whether Sheedy could place kick to a high enough level, his kicking stats are 10% better than Evans' this season.

7. In the interview, when asked about what he thought of Pivac giving him areas to work on, Webb says that he is entitled to his opinion, but that he won't change anything. That is not the attitude of a player I would want in my squad. He was given a chance in the Autumn and did not play any better than any of the other 9s selected.

8. It seems that you are measuring up Pivac to some pretty tough expectations. If you are only going to be won over by him by winning every single game against NH and SH opposition then I am absolutely happy to concede, than in your terms, he will be a failure!

Evening Comrades
As a Scot looking in, I've a few observations

1. Pivac took over a stale, decaying squad. He has since, overhauled Wales for the new decade. He used the ANC to look at new players and different playing styles, it wasn't about the short-term gain. You cannae criticise him for trying out new players/combos and then criticise him for losing, he is trying to build strength-in-depth for his coaching style. He now potentially could have hauled Wales to a GS in only his second season. The issue for Pivac/Wales (like Scotland) is their regions are not doing well, so how on earth can you advocate "club level players" who are not pulling up trees even at club level to replace proven "International" level players many of whom are coming back from serious injuries i.e. Foxy, AWJ and North.

2. There is no doubt Dan Biggar is still by far your best all-round 10. Sheedy had 30 mins of a good game, he also has had poor 30 mins, so until he can consistently manage a game from the start, I think coming off the bench on 55 mins is where he is at present. Jarrod Evans is not your form 10, nor is he your best attacking 10, he might be your best "running" 10 but you don't pick a player for his graceful running style and don't confuse "direct running" as the only form of attack. Biggar has the strength in defence, superb dead ball accuracy and he has the inventiveness to mix things up, the prime example was the Adams try.

3. Foxy had a very good game against England, he originally started as a 12 as a youngster, so can't see any reason not to try him out there. He is your best defensive centre and has the best distribution skills of them all.

4. Why on earth would you even consider "phasing out" AWJ when he has come back in superb form. Maybe after the 6Ns, the Lions tour and the end of the 2020-21 season yes, then consider it.

I think Wales are definitely not as poor as you are making out and of course winning when playing poorly gives you confidence. Judge Pivac after the WC23

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 07 Mar 2021, 10:07 pm

Biggar still has an important role to play that’s for sure. We can agree to disagree on his form though, even his up n unders are on a downward trajectory. He’s been very poor at moving the backline, it was annoying that he kept the jersey despite his form and how we have a few promising 10’s.

Simply put, AWJ is our captain and is 35. That’s a big void to fill, something that requires a lot of careful planning. He looked knackered against Scotland and some parts of the England game but still he lives to fight another day - he could probably do another season tbh. I’m not knocking him and I never will, the bloke is a legend and National treasure.

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Post by chris_501 Sun 14 Mar 2021, 7:49 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
chris_501 wrote:So if we win a Grand Slam, you sack him?

Be real...

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 14 Mar 2021, 8:26 am

Have to credit Pivac again, for us equalling (I think) the most tries we’ve scored in the Six Nations, with a game to spare. Shows our intent.

I still think his insistence on playing Davies is an accident waiting to happen, but Pivac did at least manage to protect/rest a few players yesterday.


Last edited by RiscaGame on Sun 14 Mar 2021, 9:05 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by chris_501 Sun 14 Mar 2021, 8:59 am

JD2 is going to be the call for next week. Everybody else is on form, his selection is still based on who he is. Although he is a safe pair of hands in a big game.

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Post by The Oracle Sun 14 Mar 2021, 9:31 am

chris_501 wrote:JD2 is going to be the call for next week. Everybody else is on form, his selection is still based on who he is. Although he is a safe pair of hands in a big game.

Yeah, I agree. I posted on the match thread about JD2. A couple of poor passes messed up some good attacking opportunities. Then he did that poor attempt at a chip which he shanked it straight to the Italian player who galloped down the wing. The game was well won by then but we were still seeking to turn the screw and rack up the points. As far as I can tell he’s still a good option defensively but I wonder if he provides enough attacking threat for a Pivac team?

Speaking of centres, I thought North went well again yesterday. Just seems a handful for the opposition in the 13 channel and always makes yards. I thinking he’s starting to grow into the role now and is making the jersey his own.
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Post by Noble-Surfer Sun 14 Mar 2021, 1:08 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Biggar still has an important role to play that’s for sure. We can agree to disagree on his form though, even his up n unders are on a downward trajectory. He’s been very poor at moving the backline, it was annoying that he kept the jersey despite his form and how we have a few promising 10’s.

Simply put, AWJ is our captain and is 35. That’s a big void to fill, something that requires a lot of careful planning. He looked knackered against Scotland and some parts of the England game but still he lives to fight another day - he could probably do another season tbh. I’m not knocking him and I never will, the bloke is a legend and National treasure.

Alun Wyn has been immense for Wales for so long, and really does inspire the team- he's been a truly great captain for us.
Think I'd have Ken Owens as the natural successor at the moment, though how old is he? 32? Josh Navidi another possible option?

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 14 Mar 2021, 11:23 pm

chris_501 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
chris_501 wrote:So if we win a Grand Slam, you sack him?

Be real...

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Wow.

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Post by The Oracle Fri 26 Mar 2021, 11:43 pm

Ah, f*ck it I’m going to say it - well done to us Laugh clap Shocked Crying or Very sad
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