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aber-fan View Drop Down
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    Posted: 02 January 2021 at 10:19am
Probably too early to talk about selections for Wales, but just a few thoughts here on early bolters and the form of more experienced players:

Young guns: our own Morgan Jones must surely be a strong contender, and Jac Morgan too but for his untimely injury. In other squads - Ifan Phillips showed last night that he can throw in accurately - a skill sadly lacking in most of Wales's hookers - as well as being lively around the park. One to watch. Basham looked good yesterday, until injured. Keiran Williams looked good - worth a try? I haven't seen a lot of him.

Players returning to form (?): North seems back to something approaching his best, though maybe a  spot in the centre beckons to force him to get more involved. Lydiate is going well - apart from his iffy hand-off yesterday. I'm not a huge fan, but surely Beard offers more than Reynolds?

Off the boil (?): Foxy has yet to regain form after his long lay-off, but don't rule it out - we'll see. Adams hasn't shown much this season (lack of passes? not sure). AWJ - how many miles does he have left in the tank?

Constant values: Halfpenny has been his usual completely reliable self - frequently brilliant in defence, improved in attack since joining us. Tipuric is going well. Plenty of solid if unspectacular performances from others.

In short, I'm worried. The selections, game plan and (lack of) skills show in in the Autumn don't bode well, and neither do the Pro-14 matches so far. I'd have hoped to see both more young guns coming through, and more top performances from the experienced players... as it is, few are standing out.

I hope I'm wrong to worry, though.
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dr_martinov View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2021 at 10:41am
Injuries are an enormous problem for Welsh rugby right now. In terms of ups and downs: I still reckon Wainwright is a really good player and looked decent at 8. Faletau was looking better again recently plus Navidi is to return... all good for the backrow.

Downs: Well, I don't think Tompkins should be near the squad plus I still don't know who our starting 9 is. And all the players still injured: Navidi, Liam, Patch, Ball, Anscombe, Foxy, Scott... it just goes on and on and doesn't help consistency one bit.

Hooker, seconds, fly half and centres. Plus I do think Liam at FB would give us more deep threat. There's a lot to do but Rome wasn't built in a day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2021 at 11:15am
Originally posted by aber-fan aber-fan wrote:

Probably too early to talk about selections for Wales, but just a few thoughts here on early bolters and the form of more experienced players:

Young guns: our own Morgan Jones must surely be a strong contender, and Jac Morgan too but for his untimely injury. In other squads - Ifan Phillips showed last night that he can throw in accurately - a skill sadly lacking in most of Wales's hookers - as well as being lively around the park. One to watch. Basham looked good yesterday, until injured. Keiran Williams looked good - worth a try? I haven't seen a lot of him.

Players returning to form (?): North seems back to something approaching his best, though maybe a  spot in the centre beckons to force him to get more involved. Lydiate is going well - apart from his iffy hand-off yesterday. I'm not a huge fan, but surely Beard offers more than Reynolds?

Off the boil (?): Foxy has yet to regain form after his long lay-off, but don't rule it out - we'll see. Adams hasn't shown much this season (lack of passes? not sure). AWJ - how many miles does he have left in the tank?

Constant values: Halfpenny has been his usual completely reliable self - frequently brilliant in defence, improved in attack since joining us. Tipuric is going well. Plenty of solid if unspectacular performances from others.

In short, I'm worried. The selections, game plan and (lack of) skills show in in the Autumn don't bode well, and neither do the Pro-14 matches so far. I'd have hoped to see both more young guns coming through, and more top performances from the experienced players... as it is, few are standing out.

I hope I'm wrong to worry, though.

An interesting topic for sure Aber. Ifan is an outstanding prospect for me and is ahead of his much heralded co Osprey Lake who has real problems throwing in. The Welsh team problems are front 5 and 9/10/12/13. Our back row and back 3 have depth available. If Pivac continues with his selection policy in the 6 nations I fear we and he are doomed. He should select a brave squad with a view to 2023. Realistically he may only get one win from 5 but will survive probably if he bloods loads of young guys.

I would go for the following squad :-

Back 3 : Leigh, Liam, LRZ, Adams, Amos, McNichol
Centre : Foxy, North, Johnny Williams, Kieron Williams
10 : Biggar, Jarrod Evans, Costelow
9: Cawdor, Tomos, Hardy

Props : Wyn, Rob, Smith, Samson, Francis, Brown
Hookers : Parry, Ryan, Dee
2nd Row : Hill, Seb Davies, Morgan Jones, Screech, Beard
Back Row : Navidi, Faletau, Wainwright, Tipuric, McLoud, Lewis-Hughes.

I have not considered - Ken, AWJ (age) Ollie Griffiths, Jac Morgan, Holmes, Moriarty, Basham ( injury). I would also put on standby Ifan Phillips, Ed Kennedy, Ben Carter & Jac Price to let them understand they are close. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aber-fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2021 at 11:17am
Originally posted by dr_martinov dr_martinov wrote:

Injuries are an enormous problem for Welsh rugby right now. In terms of ups and downs: I still reckon Wainwright is a really good player and looked decent at 8. Faletau was looking better again recently plus Navidi is to return... all good for the backrow.

Downs: Well, I don't think Tompkins should be near the squad plus I still don't know who our starting 9 is. And all the players still injured: Navidi, Liam, Patch, Ball, Anscombe, Foxy, Scott... it just goes on and on and doesn't help consistency one bit.

Hooker, seconds, fly half and centres. Plus I do think Liam at FB would give us more deep threat. There's a lot to do but Rome wasn't built in a day.

Good points... I forgot about Faletau, having concentrated on the Wales-based players - he is back to very good form. Wainwright a bit up and down, maybe?

The 9 position is an odd one - we have 6 or 7 scrum halves in Wales good enough to play test rugby, but no-one who puts the others in the shade. I'd go with Cawdor for his ability to score tries - including from distance - and his speed in defence which disrupts opposing back lines... but others have different skill sets. A real poser.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aber-fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2021 at 11:29am
GPR - I understand your point about building for the next RWC, but the coaches don't want to get sacked and can't afford too many heavy defeats - which more than likely, make for conservative selections.

I'd agree with most of your squad though, except for me Ken has to play if fit - still the best hooker in Wales - and Jake (even if off to Aussie) needs to be there. Not sure Screech or Seb Davies are good enough. AWJ would need to show that he's back to form before being picked, IMO - and time is short for him.

It's probably too soon for Costelow this season, but Ifan Phillips could still make it if he confirms his form - he's 24, so no kid. (Where has he been up to now?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ladram Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2021 at 11:33am
Originally posted by aber-fan aber-fan wrote:

GPR - I understand your point about building for the next RWC, but the coaches don't want to get sacked and can't afford too many heavy defeats - which more than likely, make for conservative selections.

I'd agree with most of your squad though, except for me Ken has to play if fit - still the best hooker in Wales - and Jake (even if off to Aussie) needs to be there. Not sure Screech or Seb Davies are good enough. AWJ would need to show that he's back to form before being picked, IMO - and time is short for him.

It's probably too soon for Costelow this season, but Ifan Phillips could still make it if he confirms his form - he's 24, so no kid. (Where has he been up to now?)
looked very despondent after coming off last night his face looked like he knew it was a long injury.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2021 at 11:38am
Originally posted by aber-fan aber-fan wrote:

GPR - I understand your point about building for the next RWC, but the coaches don't want to get sacked and can't afford too many heavy defeats - which more than likely, make for conservative selections.

I'd agree with most of your squad though, except for me Ken has to play if fit - still the best hooker in Wales - and Jake (even if off to Aussie) needs to be there. Not sure Screech or Seb Davies are good enough. AWJ would need to show that he's back to form before being picked, IMO - and time is short for him.

It's probably too soon for Costelow this season, but Ifan Phillips could still make it if he confirms his form - he's 24, so no kid. (Where has he been up to now?)

Look Aber I agree with you about Ken but he is 34 & realistically neither he nor AWJ are going to make France 2023 so time for new blood. The point I would make about this 6 nations is that Pivac could carry on as normal and still only get 1 win from 5 - as the last 6 nations. He would get that one win with a team from my squad but, and here is the issue, may well keep his job as it would be a developing squad. Jake is not going to be in the equation for 2023 so time to move on - he will probably not be fit after last night. 

As for Costelow - I would start him against Italy and see how he goes. Is he any worse than Sheedy???? In my humble opinion the boys ceiling is way higher than Sheedy. Pivac is going to sound very much like Delaney - talking of playing an open, fast expansive game but sending guys on to the pitch with instructions to kick all game. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aber-fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2021 at 11:49am
GPR - I understand your point, I sympathise with it, but disagree WRT a few players who, IMO, deserve to be picked as they are still the best players in their position.

As for Costelow v Sheedy - agree that, on the little I've seen, Costelow has far more potential. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aber-fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2021 at 11:50am
Originally posted by ladram ladram wrote:

Originally posted by aber-fan aber-fan wrote:

GPR - I understand your point about building for the next RWC, but the coaches don't want to get sacked and can't afford too many heavy defeats - which more than likely, make for conservative selections.

I'd agree with most of your squad though, except for me Ken has to play if fit - still the best hooker in Wales - and Jake (even if off to Aussie) needs to be there. Not sure Screech or Seb Davies are good enough. AWJ would need to show that he's back to form before being picked, IMO - and time is short for him.

It's probably too soon for Costelow this season, but Ifan Phillips could still make it if he confirms his form - he's 24, so no kid. (Where has he been up to now?)
looked very despondent after coming off last night his face looked like he knew it was a long injury.

Could be - let's hope not. Very disappointing, if so.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr_martinov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 January 2021 at 12:06pm
Ball won't feature - his injury has likely ended that but it wouldn't achieve anything due to his decision to leave.

Ken is 34, really?! He looks almost identical to his first start for us! 

It's definitely new generation time now and there's a few players who should be at their peak, Adams, Liam, most of the backrow. Trouble is there isn't quite that nucleus to build the team around: front five or halfbacks most obviously, although 9 could have been nailed down by now. If our pack isn't going to be on top it makes judging the performance of 9 and 10 a lot harder, and then the centres and outerbacks aren't really going to get decent ball so always look a bit poor. Meaning chopping and changing is always a risk and the coach has to be seen to be doing something or they are the one who gets chopped and changed. Situation France was in not too long ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RR1972 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 January 2021 at 12:00pm
what worries me about team wales is
a) the coaches are not upto it and are being found out
 
b) our best players of the last decade are either injured or out of form (liam,awj, ken,foxy,)  the guys underneath them who have done well in previous seasons are also injured or struggling (Ball Naividi, moriarty , hill ,webb, anscombe  adams) there are a few of our established lads who are playing well (tupric and halfpenny especially) but not may
 
  if people asked me to pick a welsh xv tomorrow you'd struggle to find centres,halfbacks, hookers,locks who are actually inform and playing well
 
 
 
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