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

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Post by mikey_dragon on 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 on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 1:55 pm

Just noticed one glaring omission for me... Hewitt. Bad call.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 2:21 pm

He couldn't have done much more, as they say.

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Post by Blueschief on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 3:39 pm

I’m disappointed for Hewitt, Rhodri Williams, Willgriff and Halaholo, tho probably too soon for Halaholo cos of injury.
Dillon Lewis isn’t great, glad to see Beard dropped. Seb Davies has hit form, he had a good game Friday night, have yet to see any consistency from him tho.
Don’t know what to make of Sheedy, he’s pretty good at club level so maybe he can make the step up. We’ll see I guess.

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Post by Blueschief on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 3:44 pm

Copy pasting the squad here from previous page, saves flicking back and forth. Thanks No71/2.

Forwards: Rhys Carre (Cardiff Blues, 8 Caps), Wyn Jones (Scarlets, 25 Caps), Nicky Smith (Ospreys, 35 Caps), Ken Owens (Scarlets, 77 Caps), Ryan Elias (Scarlets, 13 Caps), Sam Parry (Ospreys)*, Samson Lee (Scarlets, 41 Caps), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues, 26 Caps), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs, 48 Caps), Leon Brown (Dragons, 10 Caps), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, 138 Caps), Will Rowlands (Wasps, 1 Cap), Jake Ball (Scarlets, 46 Caps), Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues, 7 Caps), Cory Hill (Cardiff Blues, 25 Caps), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons, 21 Caps), Ross Moriarty (Dragons, 45 Caps), Taulupe Faletau (Bath, 76 Caps), Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues, 24 Caps), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys, 76 Caps), Josh Macleod (Scarlets)*.

Backs: Rhys Webb (Ospreys, 33 Caps), Gareth Davies (Scarlets, 53 Caps), Kieran Hardy (Scarlets)*, Dan Biggar (Northampton, 83 Caps), Rhys Patchell (Scarlets, 19 Caps), Callum Sheedy (Bristol)*, Owen Watkin (Ospreys, 22 Caps), Nick Tompkins (Dragons, 4 Caps), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets, 81 Caps), Johnny Williams (Scarlets)*, George North (Ospreys, 95 Caps), Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues, 24 Caps), Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester)*, Jonah Holmes (Dragons, 3 Caps), Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets, 89 Caps), Ioan Lloyd (Bristol)*, Liam Williams (Scarlets, 63 Caps).

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Post by BigGee on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 4:59 pm

Shame about Anscombe, he looks like he is going to miss the whole season now, it must have been a awful injury and has not healed well.

You wonder if he will ever make it back to the player he was.

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 5:58 pm

BigGee wrote:Shame about Anscombe, he looks like he is going to miss the whole season now, it must have been a awful injury and has not healed well.

You wonder if he will ever make it back to the player he was.

I was going to comment on the Lions halfback thread, that I don’t think he’ll come back at all. Awful shame.

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 6:05 pm

Hewitt has had a few defensive mishaps seemingly? Certainly North scoring past him blotted his copybook for me. I guess you could find frailties in LRZ’s defensive game too and certainly North doesn’t really relish defending too much, in my opinion.

Halaholo is a bit strange, given he has brought Patchell straight back in. Not exactly too blessed with centre depth there either.

Dee being injured in the Six Nations hasn’t helped his cause either. From there he lost his replacement shirt and then a game like Friday won’t have helped his cause when there are the two Ospreys hookers breathing down his neck. There’ll hopefully be a few players like him and Hewitt that will go well for Dragons this weekend now. The worry would be is when you start to get a bit of pressure as a hooker, it could become a bit of a regular occurrence. Hopefully he just goes back to how he was, before all this stepping across to his side of the lineout nonsense started.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 6:53 pm

I told you Elias would surpass Dee before the Lions tour.

Good squad. Has bags of potential.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 7:04 pm

Haloholo has to play a few games before he gets back in. Pivac was 'having a look' at everyone in the Six Nations and I'd expect this to be a delayed continuation of the same. Bleddyn playing as well as he has, which was always hoped for but not banked on, gives Wales no need to rush him back now that JD2 is back fit as well.

Samson Lee earned his recall but has to show solidity in the set piece to remain a test player. Josh Macleod is well rewarded with a call up but I can't see him being a long term option, he reminds me of Gavin Thomas - great club player, will hold his own on the test stage, but I don't think he has that point of difference that can make a player stand out at the highest level. Still, good to have depth and Tipuric is nearing the end and Ellis Jenkins might never come back.

Anscombe is desperately unlucky, what a horror injury. It ends his Lions hopes, sadly, and probably puts a glass ceiling on his Wales career as well. We have to start giving Ioan Lloyd and Sheedy a go, with Patchell holding the fort for a few years although you'd have expected him to have kicked on by now if he was ever going to become a long term starter at 10. The likes of Sam Davies and Dan Evans are solid club players as well but, like Macleod, don't look like they have test match quality to me, particularly when there are youngsters like Lloyd and Costelow who should be breaking through by 2023.

Ashton Hewitt is definitely a little bit unlucky but you can't argue there aren't better players ahead of him. Jonah Holmes is a step up on Hal Amos to me and Owen Watkin needs at least one big game to show he's not just stagnating as a rugby player.

I'd expect a few injuries with all the games coming up and the fact that so little rugby has been played so it gives a hope to the likes of Hewitt and Haloholo that they will be getting game time at some point.

I can't think there is any glaring ommission nor is ther any surprise to the players picked either. It looks like a good squad that's designed to play heads up rugby. Ireland will be licking their lips at the second row options which, to me, are a step down on both Ireland and England but other than that it looks like a solid squad with a nice mix of established stars and youngsters with potential.

I hope Halfpenny goes well. Class player, we'll miss him when he's gone.

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 7:27 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:I told you Elias would surpass Dee before the Lions tour.

Good squad. Has bags of potential.

Did you? Or did your previous account? Wink

I doubt you’ll see many too upset by it. Elias has been fit for Wales and Dee hasn’t, for the last Six Nations. That will have hurt his chances massively.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 7:42 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:I told you Elias would surpass Dee before the Lions tour.

Oh well done, you’ve just earned yourself a bag of skittles.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 7:43 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:I told you Elias would surpass Dee before the Lions tour.

Good squad. Has bags of potential.

Did you? Or did your previous account?  Wink

I doubt you’ll see many too upset by it. Elias has been fit for Wales and Dee hasn’t, for the last Six Nations. That will have hurt his chances massively.

Which account? I think everybody is losing track... 

Yeah agreed. I think we all alluded to the strength at hooker for Wales, and how Dee has regressed. He hasn’t regressed as badly as Beard mind - he looks semi pro right now.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 7:55 pm

Blueschief wrote:I’m disappointed for Hewitt, Rhodri Williams,  Willgriff and Halaholo, tho probably too soon for Halaholo cos of injury.
Dillon Lewis isn’t great, glad to see Beard dropped. Seb Davies has hit form, he had a good game Friday night, have yet to see any consistency from him tho.
Don’t know what to make of Sheedy, he’s pretty good at club level so maybe he can make the step up. We’ll see I guess.

Yeah some big omissions there, wonder if they'll get included next time? Lewis can't scrum, if he could then he would probably be a top player. I don't think Seb is a rugby player tbh, he's too soft.... happy to be proven wrong though.

I think Sheedy is a luxury; we'll need big centres outside him, which we have. I think Pivac is possibly looking at Webb and Biggar to start, with Davies and Patchell off the bench. Good options to have but some of them have a lack of playing time and get injured quite often.


Last edited by mikey_dragon on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 8:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Tue 06 Oct 2020, 7:55 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:I told you Elias would surpass Dee before the Lions tour.

Oh well done, you’ve just earned yourself a bag of skittles.

Thanks. Yet another correct prediction to go along with many more.

Perhaps you should start listening to me.

It's almost like I know rugby.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 07 Oct 2020, 8:50 pm

Anyway, let's say for arguments sake that the plan is to phase out AWJ over the next season or two, who do you see as next captain? For now I can't see anyone suitable apart from JD2 - pretty much assured his place and will lead by example. He's 32 now, so perhaps too old and injured to make the next world cup.... we'll have to see.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Wed 07 Oct 2020, 11:23 pm

Tipuric, obviously, as he's been the captain when AWJ has been off the field. Ken Owens, Faletau, and JD2 could do the job as well when called upon as they'd be in the leadership team.

Longer term it would be good to see if Dewi Lake can be a leader in the men's game. He could be the future Wales captain but you never really know, so many u20s captains have turned out to be poor, Rory Thornton, Macauley Cook etc. but he looks like he'll be a top player and looks and sounds like a leader.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 08 Oct 2020, 6:42 pm

My concern with Tipuric as captain is that he might not be in the role for long as; 
1. He might not be young enough. 
2. We have some great depth at 7.
Same goes for Ellis Jenkins if he returns. 

I know my pick (JD2) probably isn’t young enough either, and may not be at the next World Cup, but there isn’t a better 13 in Wales. Hill maybe but I don’t think he can nail down a position at lock. He might do at blindside if Pivac picks his own back-row rather than go with what Gatland used to pick. 

Lake is promising but again, can he surpass the others in front of him in his position - probably not any time soon.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 09 Oct 2020, 4:27 pm

Tipuric has just turned 31 but looks like he could play pro rugby until he's 40. He's got that natural fitness you can just tell. He'll at least be starting up until the 2023 world cup and that's all the game works in these days, 4 year cycles. JD2 will be 33 early next year and is far more injury prone. Both are good leaders within the group but Tipuric is obviously a more respected captain and leader, he doesn't make the kind of mistakes JD2 can and is naturally 'hard' which is a good quality for a captain. Quiet leader, the opposite of Alfie and someone to emulate. He's also guaranteed the 7 shirt, Navidi, Ellis Jenkins etc will be moved to 6. Pivac's tactics mean Tipuric is probably our most important player now. It's all about creating a gameplan that utilises/relies on natural talent over systems. Like the anti Gatland. It's why North should be more effective and get more tries now. You can see how this suits Tipuric with the tries he's scored under Pivac so far, the last man on the shoulder of a break, or out wide, and I expect that to continue. He's the most natural talent we have in Wales followed by Faletau and Liam Williams and keeping those 3 fit is key for Pivac to succeed over the next 3 years.

There's no one in their mid 20s who looks like a natural leader. Cory Hill is deceptively old at 28 and he's not in the same calibre. Ellis Jenkins would be a natural replacement and maybe better at the media and ref side of the game than Tipuric but seems far too injury prone. There will be a generational change in Wales after the 2023 World Cup as the cream of the last decade retires, like Tipuric, North, Halfpenny, AWJ, Liam Williams, JD2. If we hold on to some of them too long then we might do what Ireland did this year and have too many broken old men for the sake of nostalgia.

This is probably all moot as AWJ looks like he will grind it out until 2022 on merit and will then probably hang on until 2023. Whether he goes to the World Cup or not he'll probably still be in and around the team until then and is the obvious leader of the squad.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 10 Oct 2020, 11:17 am

After recent matches I'm sorta wondering how Holmes made it into the squad ahead of some others... Cover at 15 I guess.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 14 Oct 2020, 4:53 pm

Owens and McLeod ruled out through injury.

Dee called up, and also James Davies Rolling Eyes.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 14 Oct 2020, 5:03 pm

I was a little surprised by James Davies, but it could be said that Basham has been hindered a little by Dean Ryan not starting him v Bristol and Leinster.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Wed 14 Oct 2020, 5:11 pm

Real shame for Macleod, he's incredible over the ball.

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 14 Oct 2020, 5:12 pm

Yeah, I was excited by seeing how he would go.

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Post by rugby racing and beer on Wed 14 Oct 2020, 5:16 pm

A guy who thought Nic Cudd was an international 7 rolling his eyes at James Davies...eesh. Big yikes.

Shame about the injuries but Ken being injured gives the reserve hookers a chance for an extended run in the test shirt because they're going to have to replace him soon anyway. I think Elias is the pick of the bunch but he has looked underpowered at times so big game minutes v big international packs should be good for him. The other two are in the running as well and will be good to see how they go, both are step ups from the likes of Baldwin and Dacey.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 14 Oct 2020, 6:17 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:A guy who thought Nic Cudd was an international 7 rolling his eyes at James Davies...eesh. Big yikes.

Shame about the injuries but Ken being injured gives the reserve hookers a chance for an extended run in the test shirt because they're going to have to replace him soon anyway. I think Elias is the pick of the bunch but he has looked underpowered at times so big game minutes v big international packs should be good for him. The other two are in the running as well and will be good to see how they go, both are step ups from the likes of Baldwin and Dacey.

Who did I say that to though, was it miaow? I thought that wasn’t you, you silly wrong’un.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 14 Oct 2020, 6:19 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I was a little surprised by James Davies, but it could be said that Basham has been hindered a little by Dean Ryan not starting him v Bristol and Leinster.

McCleod was looking good. Not sure what Davies adds, apart from wing-hanging and penalties. There’s several open-sides that are better, maybe it’s Pivac just giving everybody a shot again.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 15 Oct 2020, 1:35 pm

Sam Warburton is leaving his role with Wales, to be replaced by Gethin Jenkins. I will be interested to see what happens there and whether our defensive organisation may change slightly.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 15 Oct 2020, 1:49 pm

Hmm, seems like another jobs for the boys appointment. But good luck to Melon, hopefully he is as good a coach he was a player. The next Wales coaching appointment I hope to see is Byron Hayward's replacement.
Fingers Crossed

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 15 Oct 2020, 3:47 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Hmm, seems like another jobs for the boys appointment. But good luck to Melon, hopefully he is as good a coach he was a player. The next Wales coaching appointment I hope to see is Byron Hayward's replacement.
Fingers Crossed

As Jenkins held that role with the Rags, the Academy and has worked on the first team at Cardiff, you can be sure which way this is going.
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Post by rugby racing and beer on Thu 15 Oct 2020, 3:52 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
rugby racing and beer wrote:A guy who thought Nic Cudd was an international 7 rolling his eyes at James Davies...eesh. Big yikes.

Shame about the injuries but Ken being injured gives the reserve hookers a chance for an extended run in the test shirt because they're going to have to replace him soon anyway. I think Elias is the pick of the bunch but he has looked underpowered at times so big game minutes v big international packs should be good for him. The other two are in the running as well and will be good to see how they go, both are step ups from the likes of Baldwin and Dacey.

Who did I say that to though, was it miaow? I thought that wasn’t you, you silly wrong’un.

You published it online for everyone to read.

I hope your insult gets moderated. Haven't you been banned before?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 15 Oct 2020, 7:32 pm

PhilBB wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Hmm, seems like another jobs for the boys appointment. But good luck to Melon, hopefully he is as good a coach he was a player. The next Wales coaching appointment I hope to see is Byron Hayward's replacement.
Fingers Crossed

As Jenkins held that role with the Rags, the Academy and has worked on the first team at Cardiff, you can be sure which way this is going.

Can I? Cardiff had a good academy before Melon stepped in, I thought more of them would step up. Some young players in Wales don't seem to make the step-up to pro rugby as well as other nations IMO, but that's down to the mismanaged Regions.

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Post by PhilBB on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 10:35 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Hmm, seems like another jobs for the boys appointment. But good luck to Melon, hopefully he is as good a coach he was a player. The next Wales coaching appointment I hope to see is Byron Hayward's replacement.
Fingers Crossed

As Jenkins held that role with the Rags, the Academy and has worked on the first team at Cardiff, you can be sure which way this is going.

Can I? Cardiff had a good academy before Melon stepped in, I thought more of them would step up. Some young players in Wales don't seem to make the step-up to pro rugby as well as other nations IMO, but that's down to the mismanaged Regions.

Do have any stats to support that claim?
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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 10:47 am

PhilBB wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Hmm, seems like another jobs for the boys appointment. But good luck to Melon, hopefully he is as good a coach he was a player. The next Wales coaching appointment I hope to see is Byron Hayward's replacement.
Fingers Crossed

As Jenkins held that role with the Rags, the Academy and has worked on the first team at Cardiff, you can be sure which way this is going.

Can I? Cardiff had a good academy before Melon stepped in, I thought more of them would step up. Some young players in Wales don't seem to make the step-up to pro rugby as well as other nations IMO, but that's down to the mismanaged Regions.

Do have any stats to support that claim?

Nope, none at all. I'm just looking at our lot in recent seasons, and then looking at what's coming through in England, NZ, France, etc. At age 20 a lot of their guys seem to become a regular in pro rugby. Further backed up by some players not really kicking on at the Regions. I think Owen Watkin is a good example, now Adam Beard it seems. Not forgetting the list of failed props like Nicky Thomas, he dominated at U20 level. I didn't really notice any good front-row players in this year's U20s either - but there were some good lock and back-row forwards.

What were you getting at with Melon btw?

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Post by PhilBB on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 11:41 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Hmm, seems like another jobs for the boys appointment. But good luck to Melon, hopefully he is as good a coach he was a player. The next Wales coaching appointment I hope to see is Byron Hayward's replacement.
Fingers Crossed

As Jenkins held that role with the Rags, the Academy and has worked on the first team at Cardiff, you can be sure which way this is going.

Can I? Cardiff had a good academy before Melon stepped in, I thought more of them would step up. Some young players in Wales don't seem to make the step-up to pro rugby as well as other nations IMO, but that's down to the mismanaged Regions.

Do have any stats to support that claim?

Nope, none at all. I'm just looking at our lot in recent seasons, and then looking at what's coming through in England, NZ, France, etc. At age 20 a lot of their guys seem to become a regular in pro rugby. Further backed up by some players not really kicking on at the Regions. I think Owen Watkin is a good example, now Adam Beard it seems. Not forgetting the list of failed props like Nicky Thomas, he dominated at U20 level. I didn't really notice any good front-row players in this year's U20s either - but there were some good lock and back-row forwards.

What were you getting at with Melon btw?

I think that you're harsh on the progression from academies. I think that you need to look at the stats over a period of years to get a full flavour of the success or failure, plus temper that with a lack of sufficient 'support' competition such as the Espoirs or the Championship.

Jenkins was more of a defence coach with Cardiff's two teams, so I see this is as the first foot out of the door for Hayward - OR Hayward needing support. It was the defensive frailties (along with a huge dose of back luck) that affected Pivac's win/loss ratio last season so it looks, to me, that Pivac is doing something about it.
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Post by rugby racing and beer on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 4:06 pm

Some very odd conspiracy theories about the defence coaches here.

Wales have played 4 test matches under a new coaching team after 12 years of the same blokes. A bit of perspective is needed. Lots of filling in the gaps with (weird) wishful thinking.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 16 Oct 2020, 7:55 pm

PhilBB wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Hmm, seems like another jobs for the boys appointment. But good luck to Melon, hopefully he is as good a coach he was a player. The next Wales coaching appointment I hope to see is Byron Hayward's replacement.
Fingers Crossed

As Jenkins held that role with the Rags, the Academy and has worked on the first team at Cardiff, you can be sure which way this is going.

Can I? Cardiff had a good academy before Melon stepped in, I thought more of them would step up. Some young players in Wales don't seem to make the step-up to pro rugby as well as other nations IMO, but that's down to the mismanaged Regions.

Do have any stats to support that claim?

Nope, none at all. I'm just looking at our lot in recent seasons, and then looking at what's coming through in England, NZ, France, etc. At age 20 a lot of their guys seem to become a regular in pro rugby. Further backed up by some players not really kicking on at the Regions. I think Owen Watkin is a good example, now Adam Beard it seems. Not forgetting the list of failed props like Nicky Thomas, he dominated at U20 level. I didn't really notice any good front-row players in this year's U20s either - but there were some good lock and back-row forwards.

What were you getting at with Melon btw?

I think that you're harsh on the progression from academies. I think that you need to look at the stats over a period of years to get a full flavour of the success or failure, plus temper that with a lack of sufficient 'support' competition such as the Espoirs or the Championship.

Jenkins was more of a defence coach with Cardiff's two teams, so I see this is as the first foot out of the door for Hayward - OR Hayward needing support. It was the defensive frailties (along with a huge dose of back luck) that affected Pivac's win/loss ratio last season so it looks, to me, that Pivac is doing something about it.

Correct. I'm often harsh and sceptical, but I drive high standards. Some may call it delusion...

Well if you remember, team Wales wanted to keep Shaun Edwards so no idea why we settled on Hayward. Lazy. I imagine that is the case and Melon has actually been brought in to give him a hand. The defence was very narrow, even against Italy it looked vulnerable. For me Hayward should never have been given the job in the first place as he is very poor at it, only one-eyed Turks will say he's good.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 12:11 pm

France: Anthony Bouthier; Teddy Thomas, Virimi Vakatawa, Gael Fickou, Vincent Rattez; Romain Ntamack, Antoine Dupont; Cyril Baille, Julien Marchand, Mohamed Haouas, Bernard Le Roux, Paul Willemse, Francois Cros, Charles Ollivon (capt), Gregory Alldritt

Replacements: Camille Chat, Jean-Baptiste Gros, Demba Bamba, Romain Taofifenua, Dylan Cretin, Baptiste Serin, Arthur Vincent, Thomas Ramos.

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; George North, Jonathan Davies, Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias, Samson Lee, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Aaron Wainwright, Taulupe Faletau, Justin Tipuric.

Replacements: Sam Parry, Nicky Smith, Dillon Lewis, Seb Davies, James Davies, Gareth Davies, Rhys Patchell, Louis Rees-Zammit.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 12:16 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:

Well if you remember, team Wales wanted to keep Shaun Edwards so no idea why we settled on Hayward. Lazy. I imagine that is the case and Melon has actually been brought in to give him a hand. The defence was very narrow, even against Italy it looked vulnerable. For me Hayward should never have been given the job in the first place as he is very poor at it, only one-eyed Turks will say he's good.

They settled on Hayward as Edwards wanted a 4 year contract. With Pivac having a break clause after two years, the WRU decided they couldn't meet Edwards' demands as it may have meant forcing him on a potential Pivac replacement or paying off the final two years of his 4 year contract should Pivac get the push at the break clause.

So it wasn't 'lazy'.

What standard are you using for "very poor"?
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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 12:55 pm

Fair play, I thought France were supposed to be weakened. That's some side they've named.

Ours is good too. There has been the usual pee boiling about North starting, but it was always going to happen. Good to see Hill back as first choice. Maybe a little surprised to see Wainwright start, but I guess that would've been Navidi, if he was available. Good to see Lee back. Gives me more hope for our scrum.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 1:34 pm

Can't see where France are supposedly weakened either.

Our boiler room and it's replacement doesn't give me much hope tbh, neither does Lewis. I like that Carre is in, the halfbacks and replacement halfbacks - that's probably what Pivac sees as his best options going forward. Great that Parry and LRZ will get their chance too, hopefully.
Not sure what North has to do to get dropped tbh. I get that if you're class and fit then you play, like Liam Williams. North isn't in that category for me.

I wonder if this will also be Pivac going forward (picking favourites), or whether we're just trying a few guys out as it's a friendly. I wouldn't care if we lost the next 2 games as long as some of our weaknesses improve and we blood some new and less experienced guys.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 1:57 pm

Rees-Zammit will be electric. Could go into to be an all time great for Wales.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 2:06 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Fair play, I thought France were supposed to be weakened. That's some side they've named.

Ours is good too. There has been the usual pee boiling about North starting, but it was always going to happen. Good to see Hill back as first choice. Maybe a little surprised to see Wainwright start, but I guess that would've been Navidi, if he was available. Good to see Lee back. Gives me more hope for our scrum.

Apparently Moriarty was going to start, but he 'picked up a knock' as they say. It's a shame because he's been very good for the Dragons lately.

EDIT: it's an ankle injury.


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Post by PhilBB on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 2:09 pm

SLH called up to the squad.

That'll provide some competition for Wainwright (who has been playing like a man who needs a change of scenery, so let's hope this international window brings that)
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 2:13 pm

Didn't Lewis-Hughes make the wider squad at the start of the tournament, or did I imagine it? Very good prospect either way.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 2:16 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:Fair play, I thought France were supposed to be weakened. That's some side they've named.

Ours is good too. There has been the usual pee boiling about North starting, but it was always going to happen. Good to see Hill back as first choice. Maybe a little surprised to see Wainwright start, but I guess that would've been Navidi, if he was available. Good to see Lee back. Gives me more hope for our scrum.

Apparently Moriarty was going to start, but he 'picked up a knock' as they say. It's a shame because he's been very good for the Dragons lately.

EDIT: it's an ankle injury.

Thanks for that. I haven't had the chance to read Pivac's press conference yet.

Good for SLH. He must've been so close anyway.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 4:00 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:Didn't Lewis-Hughes make the wider squad at the start of the tournament, or did I imagine it? Very good prospect either way.

Very good indeed. If you could get away with filling most of your first team positions with back-row forwards, Cardiff would be pretty good...


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Post by rugby racing and beer on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 4:30 pm

Decent French team but it's by no means their strongest. That said, I'd be surprised if Wales win this. I expect a relatively low quality game due to how little rugby has been played over the last year. Both teams will probably play pretty similar rugby, lots of handling errors to be expected and I wouldn't rule out a number of stoppages due to injuries.

France to win this due to home advantage and less rust.

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Post by PhilBB on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 4:37 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:Decent French team but it's by no means their strongest. That said, I'd be surprised if Wales win this. I expect a relatively low quality game due to how little rugby has been played over the last year. Both teams will probably play pretty similar rugby, lots of handling errors to be expected and  I wouldn't rule out a number of stoppages due to injuries.

France to win this due to home advantage and less rust.

Who is missing from the "strongest" French team?
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Post by rugby racing and beer on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 4:39 pm

It also feels like a relatively small and weak team for Wales, physically speaking. From 1 to 15. There's a real loss of size and strength compared to peak Gatland. No Roberts, no Warburton, no Hibbard, no Ian Evans. The sooner we get a lack at Rowlands in a Welsh shirt the better. As much as Wales are moving back towards a more natural gameplan, you can't concede the game before it starts by being so underpowered. Moriarty will be a loss in that sense, does dog work that belies his size. I think Moriarty and Tipuric could make an excellent yin and yang flanker pairing.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 22 Oct 2020, 9:02 pm

Not so small and weak, but could be, compared to this South Af... I mean, French pack. France always have a big and powerful back-row, Wales' usually open-side heavy. Ollivon is some player though. As big as a lock and can play well across the back-row. We could have negated it by putting Hill to 6 but Pivac wouldn't listen.

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