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Wales International: games, squads, tournaments, chat - 2021/22

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Post by The Oracle Sat 06 Nov 2021, 9:09 am

First topic message reminder :

A place to chat about everything ‘Wales’ going forward.

————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

First up: South Africa 6th November 2021

Wales: Johnny McNicholl; Louis Rees-Zammit, Jonathan Davies (capt), Nick Tompkins, Josh Adams; Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams; Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Will Rowlands, Adam Beard, Ellis Jenkins, Taine Basham, Aaron Wainwright.

Replacements: Bradley Roberts, Wyn Jones, WillGriff John, Ben Carter, Seb Davies, Gareth Davies, Gareth Anscombe, Liam Williams.

South Africa: Damian Willemse; Jesse Kriel, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handre Pollard, Herschel Jantjies; Ox Nche, Bongi Mbonambi, Trevor Nyakane, Eben Etzebeth, Lood De Jager, Siya Kolisi (capt), Kwagga Smith, Duane Vermeulen.

Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Franco Mostert, Jasper Wiese, Cobus Reinach, Elton Jantjies, Frans Steyn.


Last edited by The Oracle on Sat 06 Nov 2021, 9:15 am; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Old Man Tue 09 Nov 2021, 12:03 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Old Man wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Old Man wrote:There is always something to work on for coaches. Wales line out showd marked improvement over the previous week. Yes their scrum needs work this week, next week it will be something else.

The Springboks need to work on their discipline at the breakdown/tackle area and they need to work on their finishing and execution.

During the second half they created pressure for extended periods and came away with little reward.

The Kiwi took 78 minutes to penalise them for sealing off, something they'd done since the kick off. It's funny how the ref was only interested in the defender supporting his weight, but never the attacking team.

The Boks conceded more penalties at the ruck in defence than the Welsh.

Yes, but only one in attack when it should have bene multiples more.

You going to have to show me examples and stats before I am going to agree with that. from my prespective we were blown off the park at the breakdown.

I could complain about the Welsh being blown on one illegal taking of our jumper in the air, and not the mulitple times there after, pulling on legs in front of the linesman, but then I am told I am whinging.

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Post by PhilBB Tue 09 Nov 2021, 12:05 pm

Old Man wrote:
You going to have to show me examples and stats before I am going to agree with that. from my prespective we were blown off the park at the breakdown.

I could complain about the Welsh being blown on one illegal taking of our jumper in the air, and not the mulitple times there after, pulling on legs in front of the linesman, but then I am told I am whinging.

I wouldn't say you were whinging.

My point is solely that sealing off was a favourite of both teams with the Kiwi ref not realising this until 78 minutes.

I see that SA have another SH ref for this weekend, which will help them.
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Post by Old Man Tue 09 Nov 2021, 12:22 pm

Boks aren't very popular in Australia on account of Rassie's video.

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Post by majesticimperialman Tue 09 Nov 2021, 7:23 pm

With AWJ out of action for a period of time, is JD the best option as Captain?

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Post by The Oracle Tue 09 Nov 2021, 8:18 pm

majesticimperialman wrote:With AWJ out of action for a period of time, is JD the best  option as Captain?

Well, he’s vastly experienced and due to our lack of up n coming centres he’s pretty much guaranteed a starting spot currently (when fit). So yes he’s a valid candidate. I like Ellis Jenkins as captain too though. He took over on Saturday vs the Boks. Whether he’s guaranteed a starting spot going forward with everyone fit, I’m not sure. But if he’s starting I think he has what it takes to be a good captain.
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Post by The Oracle Tue 09 Nov 2021, 8:23 pm

Just to add: Ken Owens would probably be next choice normally after AWJ be of course he too is injured currently and out of the remaining games. Hence JD2.
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Post by chris_501 Wed 10 Nov 2021, 8:04 am

I think Tipuric would have also been captain ahead of JD2 if he was fit, and potentially Faletau too.

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Post by The Oracle Wed 10 Nov 2021, 8:56 am

chris_501 wrote:I think Tipuric would have also been captain ahead of JD2 if he was fit, and potentially Faletau too.

Not sure they’re quite the right personality for it personally. A bit too quiet and shy, perhaps? Good guys though and lead by example. But need to be a bit more vocal for me.
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Post by PhilBB Wed 10 Nov 2021, 9:44 am

The Oracle wrote:
chris_501 wrote:I think Tipuric would have also been captain ahead of JD2 if he was fit, and potentially Faletau too.

Not sure they’re quite the right personality for it personally. A bit too quiet and shy, perhaps? Good guys though and lead by example. But need to be a bit more vocal for me.

Agreed. Hence it should be Ellis.
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Post by The Oracle Wed 10 Nov 2021, 11:07 am

PhilBB wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
chris_501 wrote:I think Tipuric would have also been captain ahead of JD2 if he was fit, and potentially Faletau too.

Not sure they’re quite the right personality for it personally. A bit too quiet and shy, perhaps? Good guys though and lead by example. But need to be a bit more vocal for me.

Agreed. Hence it should be Ellis.

Yes i'd be happy with him. He's in a very competitive position though, but put in performances like he did on Saturday and he'll be be hard not to include in the starting team.

When all fit we do have a lot of very good candidates in the back row. Here's the ones who make the current 23:

Tipuric
Faletau
Ellis Jenkins
Aaron Wainwright
Ross Moriarty
Josh Navidi
Taine Basham
Seb Davies

And then players like Jac Morgan, Morgan Morris, James Botham, Shane Lewis Hughes, Ollie Griffiths all knocking on the door. Even Aaron Shingler and Dan Lydiate I guess but not sure if they'll be able to make their way back in now. Plus lots of up n coming players like Christ Tshiunza and Carwyn Tuipulotu.


Hard to pick a 'best' back row if all fit and firing:

6. Navidi
7. Tipuric
8. Faletau

or

6. Jenkins
7. Tipuric
8. Faletau

or a new breed backrow (as per vs the Boks):

6. Jenkins
7. Basham
8. Wainwright

Great to have some depth.
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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 10 Nov 2021, 11:55 am

If it comes down to picking just the one at 7, then I don't see any reason for picking Jenkins over Basham. Call me biased if you like but I rate both very highly. Basham has made the step up against the best in the world, literally, and he's just 21 (or maybe 22). It's extraordinary how everyone was talking about Ellis after the game against SA but not Basham who played better.

When more players are available and tested, Pivac will pick a big blindside, possibly Tshiunza if he's good (so far he is). I don't see us persisting with the treble open-side backrow. Teams with good back 5 forwards just outmuscle it.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:07 pm

Wales team to face Fiji: Liam Williams; Alex Cuthbert, Josh Adams, Johnny Williams, Louis Rees-Zammit; Dan Biggar, Kieran Hardy; Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis; Will Rowlands, Adam Beard; Ellis Jenkins, Thomas Young, Taine Basham.

Reps: Bradley Roberts, Gareth Thomas, WillGriff John, Christ Tshiunza, Seb Davies, Tomos Williams, Callum Sheedy, Nick Tompkins.

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Post by The Oracle Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:09 pm

Basham at 8?! Adams at centre?! Wyn Jones drops out completely?
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Post by The Oracle Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:10 pm

That’s a really inexperienced centre partnership considering they’re against the free running Fijians!
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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:11 pm

Was Gareth Thomas in the squad before? I don't remember. I thought it was Rhodri Jones.

I think it's a good team but don't see the point in Cuthbert or Adams at 13, neither will be a good option in the near future. I think it was Owen Lane covering 13 for Cardiff?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:14 pm

Has Adams ever played centre? A touch odd ain't it!

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:16 pm

Gareth Thomas replaced Rhodri Jones earlier in the week (not sure on exact day).

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:16 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Has Adams ever played centre? A touch odd ain't it!

Just last week as far as I know... We must be looking for pace at 13, makes sense but I'm not sure about Adams there yet.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:19 pm

I completely missed that then. Seems like a Woodward style moved who called on Jonny May to be moved to 13.

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Post by PhilBB Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:24 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:If it comes down to picking just the one at 7, then I don't see any reason for picking Jenkins over Basham. Call me biased if you like but I rate both very highly. Basham has made the step up against the best in the world, literally, and he's just 21 (or maybe 22). It's extraordinary how everyone was talking about Ellis after the game against SA but not Basham who played better.

When more players are available and tested, Pivac will pick a big blindside, possibly Tshiunza if he's good (so far he is). I don't see us persisting with the treble open-side backrow. Teams with good back 5 forwards just outmuscle it.

I love this post.
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Post by The Oracle Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:24 pm

Was Adams there last week? I know they used him on the crash ball a lot but wasn’t aware he was playing centre.
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Post by PhilBB Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:25 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Was Gareth Thomas in the squad before? I don't remember. I thought it was Rhodri Jones.

I think it's a good team but don't see the point in Cuthbert or Adams at 13, neither will be a good option in the near future. I think it was Owen Lane covering 13 for Cardiff?

Jones dropped out last week.
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Post by RiscaGame Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:28 pm

I probably would've liked to have seen Halaholo get an opportunity again here. Perhaps something will come up in the presser? Even Ben Thomas could've been utilised in the squad, over somebody like Tompkins again.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:35 pm

Ellis Jenkins is captain, this weekend. Great stuff.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:39 pm

The Oracle wrote:Was Adams there last week? I know they used him on the crash ball a lot but wasn’t aware he was playing centre.

He moved inwards when Liam Williams came on.

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Post by The Oracle Wed 10 Nov 2021, 12:57 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Was Adams there last week? I know they used him on the crash ball a lot but wasn’t aware he was playing centre.

He moved inwards when Liam Williams came on.

OK Thanks. Didn’t notice his positional change, but yes makes sense as there must have been 3 wingers still on the pitch. Didn’t notice! Must have been when I started watching from behind the sofa Smile
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Post by PhilBB Wed 10 Nov 2021, 4:28 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I probably would've liked to have seen Halaholo get an opportunity again here. Perhaps something will come up in the presser? Even Ben Thomas could've been utilised in the squad, over somebody like Tompkins again.

Halaholo has been left out because of his time away from the squad with Covid.
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Post by RiscaGame Wed 10 Nov 2021, 9:45 pm

Interesting to see Pivac throw Wyn Jones under the bus. Also interesting to see him backtrack somewhat, over using Ken Owens this Autumn. Mate, if you were ever really not considering pushing him, you wouldn’t have mentioned how you were looking for him to be available for the Australia game.

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 10 Nov 2021, 9:46 pm

PhilBB wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:I probably would've liked to have seen Halaholo get an opportunity again here. Perhaps something will come up in the presser? Even Ben Thomas could've been utilised in the squad, over somebody like Tompkins again.

Halaholo has been left out because of his time away from the squad with Covid.

I did see that. I thought something would be said in the press conference. Tbh, I didn’t know the extent of his covid. If he hasn’t trained, then obviously it’s fair not to use him. It’s still a shame though.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 11 Nov 2021, 8:52 am

RiscaGame wrote:Interesting to see Pivac throw Wyn Jones under the bus. Also interesting to see him backtrack somewhat, over using Ken Owens this Autumn. Mate, if you were ever really not considering pushing him, you wouldn’t have mentioned how you were looking for him to be available for the Australia game.

Don't speak the truth about Pivac, you're going to upset people like Chris...

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 11 Nov 2021, 8:54 am

Rhodri Jones was a surprise inclusion for me, does Pivac or anyone see something there that I do not? If he had to withdraw, why wouldn't you call up Nicky Smith? I know he's smaller than Gareth Thomas but he is clearly the better scrummager.

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Post by chris_501 Thu 11 Nov 2021, 9:12 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:Interesting to see Pivac throw Wyn Jones under the bus. Also interesting to see him backtrack somewhat, over using Ken Owens this Autumn. Mate, if you were ever really not considering pushing him, you wouldn’t have mentioned how you were looking for him to be available for the Australia game.

Don't speak the truth about Pivac, you're going to upset people like Chris...

There have been a few instances where I haven't agreed with what Pivac has said publicly, I would prefer all that is kept in house. I haven't seen the comments on Owens, but the view that Wyn Jones isn't as fit as he needs to be might have some credence. Pivac got the best out of him in the 6N, where for me he was the standout loosehead in the competition. Let's just hope he goes away and it drives him to improve.

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Post by RiscaGame Thu 11 Nov 2021, 9:14 am

They might have some credence. He could be burnt out. I don't think announcing these work ons in the press, do him any favours though. Especially when he isn't calling out himself or his staff over set piece issues etc.

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Post by The Oracle Thu 11 Nov 2021, 10:22 am

Yeah, I agree that it's not good form to go public on a player's fitness issues. I'm sure all of the players have work ons. Just keep it in house and let them get on with it, instead of publicly shaming them. I remember years back when the coach (was it Gatland? Hansen?) came out and said Adam Jones was too fat. Tell him in private, not go public to the world!

The issue is that the public, and therefore the press, want answers. Doesn't mean the coaches have to give us the full details though. For Wyn Jones they could have just said that he was not fit for the game and left it at that.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 11 Nov 2021, 11:06 am

Yeah I don't see how going public with these things helps anyone. The player concerned is going to want to do whatever it takes to get his place back anyway, they don't need any extra motivation I wouldn't have thought. And I know it's not the same thing, but if we're rightly trying to stop players being abused on social media, I'm not sure this is the best example a coach could set. If anything, it gives trolls a line of attack.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 11 Nov 2021, 11:10 am

How are we all feeling about the match? I haven't really thought about it much until now. I'm not sure this is a match to be fannying around with your midfield. I'm worried that I'm not more worried, if that makes sense.

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Post by The Oracle Thu 11 Nov 2021, 11:20 am

Same LP. I mentioned it further up that we now have a very inexperienced centre pairing to go against a team renowned for its free running. It takes time to gel as a partnership and (for Adams) to learn the nuances of defence in the centre channel. A lot to ask. But in attack, I’m quite excited to see Adams potentially being involved more and always nice to see winger pace in the centre channel.

I think we can be fairly confident of getting more quick ball against Fiji than we have in our last two games v NZ and SA, without wanting to sound arrogant. I’d like to think we can boss the rucks a bit more (famous last words!). And if so hopefully we can get some space out wide as that was lacking against SA and NZ. As always though against Fiji, we need to ‘earn the right’ and not just play a lose game like they often do (although they’ve made improvements to their structure and set piece over the last few years). It’s one of those games where we either spank then and they can’t cope with the structure, or we try an open game and we end up losing or very near (like the World Cup 2007!). Going ‘try for try’ against them will end in tears but would be enjoyable for a neutral!
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Post by RiscaGame Thu 11 Nov 2021, 11:24 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:How are we all feeling about the match? I haven't really thought about it much until now. I'm not sure this is a match to be fannying around with your midfield. I'm worried that I'm not more worried, if that makes sense.

I wasn't confident pre AIs, however last week has given me a bit more confidence. Have to see their side, I guess.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 11 Nov 2021, 11:29 am

Pivac hasn't been as cavalier in his selection as Gatland used to be when we played Fiji in the AIs, which is a good thing (I remember 10 changes on some occasions). If we lose this, we're left having to beat the Wallabies to avoid a winless autumn. It's a big old match really.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Thu 11 Nov 2021, 11:33 am

On a trivial note, I'm looking forward to Christ Tshiunza coming off the bench, just so I know if it's pronounced like Krist Novoselic or like Jesus Christ himself. I'm guessing it's the former!

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Post by Old Man Thu 11 Nov 2021, 12:08 pm

The Oracle wrote:Same LP. I mentioned it further up that we now have a very inexperienced centre pairing to go against a team renowned for its free running. It takes time to gel as a partnership and (for Adams) to learn the nuances of defence in the centre channel. A lot to ask. But in attack, I’m quite excited to see Adams potentially being involved more and always nice to see winger pace in the centre channel.

I think we can be fairly confident of getting more quick ball against Fiji than we have in our last two games v NZ and SA, without wanting to sound arrogant. I’d like to think we can boss the rucks a bit more (famous last words!). And if so hopefully we can get some space out wide as that was lacking against SA and NZ. As always though against Fiji, we need to ‘earn the right’ and not just play a lose game like they often do (although they’ve made improvements to their structure and set piece over the last few years). It’s one of those games where we either spank then and they can’t cope with the structure, or we try an open game and we end up losing or very near (like the World Cup 2007!). Going ‘try for try’ against them will end in tears but would be enjoyable for a neutral!

Agree Oracle, but it is vital for Wales to retain their structure vs Fiji, they love an open helter skelter game, that's when their individual talents shine, and they can beat most defenders one on one.

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Post by The Oracle Thu 11 Nov 2021, 1:04 pm

Agreed. The temptation is to fling it about if we are getting impatient and not turning pressure into points. But we need to be patient. If we are in control in terms of the structured stuff then eventually the points will come. Need to trust our systems and not get drawn into helter skelter stuff.
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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 12 Nov 2021, 11:08 am

Fiji: Setareki Tuicuvu; Josua Tuisova, Waisea Nayacalevu (capt), Vilimoni Botitu, Eroni Sau; Frank Lomani, Ben Volavola; Peni Ravai, Sam Matavesi, Mesake Doge, Api Ratuniyarawa, Temo Mayanavanua, Albert Tuisue, Mesulame Kunavula, Viliame Mata, Frank Lomani.

Replacements: Zurile Togiatama, Eroni Mawi, Leeroy Atalifo, Tevita Ratuva, Masivesi Dakuwaqa, Nikola Matawalu, Apisai Naqalevu, Aminiasi Tuimaba.

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Post by The Oracle Fri 12 Nov 2021, 3:58 pm

My knowledge of the Fijian squad is pretty poor.  I know none of their SH coaches travelled due to COVID (and their head coach stayed home too), but how does this side rank in comparison to previous Fiji teams we’ve played?  Have their SH players travelled?  Don’t recognise a huge number of names apart from Doge because he plays for my team and Sam Matavesi because I remember his brother Josh Matavesi who played for the Ospreys.  Some of the more notable NH Fiji names missing (Radrada etc).  Is this a bit more of a 2nd team?
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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 12 Nov 2021, 4:15 pm

You don't recognise Josua Tuisova, Albert Tuisue, Viliame Mata, Tevita Ratuva, Api Ratuniyarawa? All got big contracts here in the NH. I don't know much about their captain but it sounds like he could be good.

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Post by king_carlos Fri 12 Nov 2021, 4:22 pm

I'd say that's missing:

John Dyer
Peceli Yata
Leone Nakarawa
Semi Radrada
Levani Botia
Riko Buliruarua
Manasa Mataele
Nemani Nadalo
Kini Murimurivalu

Botia and Radrada both missing is a shame as that's a terrific centre pairing. I really rate Nayacaleva but his best position is wing rather than centre.

Yato and Dyer are fantastic back rows to be missing but Mata, Tuisui and Kunavula are good players too.

Nadolo and Tuisue on either wing would be fun!

I used to follow lower tier rugby much more closely pre-covid but not as much since due to other things taking over. It might be that some of those guys are now out the international scene completely rather than just missing here. To my knowledge all are still playing very well in club rugby though and most would improve this side. Dyer, Yato, Radrada, Botia, Nadolo and Murimurivalu probably would be starters. Nakarawa's form has fallen of a cliff a bit sadly so maybe wouldn't be a starter anymore.

The Fiji squad was sneakly starting to become quite an old one as a whole so it might just be a case of Cotter shrewdly bringing some younger players through.

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Post by The Oracle Fri 12 Nov 2021, 6:48 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:You don't recognise Josua Tuisova, Albert Tuisue, Viliame Mata, Tevita Ratuva, Api Ratuniyarawa? All got big contracts here in the NH. I don't know much about their captain but it sounds like he could be good.

I recognise the names of Mata and Ratuva from our league.  Recognise some other names from other leagues but couldn’t tell you whether they’re playing well and on form and first choice for Fiji or not.  Just don’t watch as much rugby as I used to, and watch zero Prem or French rugby.  Out of touch with it a bit.  Didn’t know hardly any of the Tonga team last week vs England either!

Just trying to gauge what to expect from us.  If it’s a largely second strong Fiji then we should be beating them comfortably.  Although we rarely do.  Saw their result vs Spain 43-13.  While that’s a clear one sided win, I would have expected them to perhaps put more on them.
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Post by RiscaGame Sat 13 Nov 2021, 12:52 am

The Oracle wrote:My knowledge of the Fijian squad is pretty poor.  I know none of their SH coaches travelled due to COVID (and their head coach stayed home too), but how does this side rank in comparison to previous Fiji teams we’ve played?  Have their SH players travelled?  Don’t recognise a huge number of names apart from Doge because he plays for my team and Sam Matavesi because I remember his brother Josh Matavesi who played for the Ospreys.  Some of the more notable NH Fiji names missing (Radrada etc).  Is this a bit more of a 2nd team?

Pivac has made a rod for his own back, as he has said that the SH Fijians missing won’t make a difference. IF Wales lose, I’m sure he’ll pass the buck anyway.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 14 Nov 2021, 1:37 pm

No Francis today for Wales, due to concussion from training.

Will Griff John starts and Dillon Lewis on the bench now.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 14 Nov 2021, 3:07 pm

Josh Adams out too. Tompkins starts and Halaholo to the bench.

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