Wales Autumn Squad

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by An Tarbh, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. An Tarbh

    An Tarbh Guest

    Backs: Dan Biggar, James Hook, Shane Williams (Ospreys); Gareth Cooper, Jamie Roberts, Tom Shanklin, Tom James, Leigh Halfpenny (Blues); Martin Roberts, Stephen Jones, Jonathan Davies, Mark Jones (Scarlets); Dwayne Peel (Sale).

    Forwards: Paul James, Duncan Jones, Craig Mitchell, Huw Bennett, Alun Wyn Jones, Ryan Jones (capt), Jonathan Thomas (Ospreys); Gethin Jenkins, Bradley Davies, Andy Powell, Sam Warburton, Martyn Williams (Blues); Matthew Rees, Dafydd Jones (Scarlets); Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate (Dragons).
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  3. I'm really suprised at the squad: Hookers is the main area. Huw Bennet instead of Ken Owens or Gareth Williams? Both have been playing out for their skins, but dooes Gatland notice? Noooo. Being a former hooker himself, you think he's know what makes a good one. (Hmm, something isn't right about that sentance)

    No specialist Fullback: Where's Dan Evans? He's been fantastic as well. Jason Tovey is the same. Only two locks- Ian Gouth as been a total powehouse, but is totally ignored.

    Dan Biggar instead of Nicky Robinson- What's Gatland got against Nicky? No Aled Brew, either. He's been picking the same squad that won him the Grand Slam in 2008 over and over, or at least the one that beat Austraillia for him last year. Glad Dan Lydiate got in, because otherwise he's made no effort to look at young talent.
  4. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    As Dunc said, a few odd ommissions here.

    Starting with the props. Can't believe Paul James has been picked! Wheres Iestyn Thomas and Eifion Lewis Roberts? Dissapointed not to see Ken Owens get selected at Hooker, he's been awesome this season, easily playing better than Bennett! Why not take 3 Hookers, giving Ken Owens a taste of squad life? I'm personally delighted not to see Gough there, but at the same time dissapointed not to one of the Scarelts second rows, both have been in awesome form. Happy with the back-row selection, spot on.

    In the backs, all is good apart from full-back. Daniel Evans has been playing very well and again deserved a spot. Tovey is again a great prospect, but I think his time will come (afterall he's lost his Dragon's spot over the last few weeks). Don't agree with Dunc about Nicky Robinson. Dan Biggar has been playing increadibly well, and Hook is a great utility player, no space left for Nicky.

    Would it really have hurt to increase the squad size by 2-3 players, allowing space for a couple of youngsters who really deserve it? A balance has gotta be met between keeping the squad size small to allow his intense training, and rewarding good performances.

    From that, my strting 22 v NZ would be:

    01 Duncan Jones
    02 Mathew Rees
    03 Gethin Jenkins
    04 Alun-Wyn Jones
    05 Luke Charteris
    06 Dafydd Jones
    07 Martyn Williams
    08 Ryan Jones

    09 Martin Roberts (Peel not available)
    10 Stephen Jones
    11 Shane Williams
    12 Jamie Roberts
    13 Donathan Davies
    14 Tom James
    15 James Hook

    16 Craig Mitchell
    17 Huw Bennett
    18 Jonathan Thomas
    19 Andy Powell
    20 Gareth Cooper
    21 Tom Shanklin
    22 Leigh Halfpenny

    I'm relictant to play Gethin at 3, as I believe we loose alot of what makes him such a great player in the loose because of it. But needs must. I've gone for Charteris in the second row, as he offers a huge linout boost (somewhere we should be targeting NZ), he also offers more bulk than JT in the scrums. In the backs, I think Martin Roberts is in fine form, edging Cooper. At 13, Jonthan Davies has been very good, him and Jamie can create chaos. If Hook get's the nod though, that would be fine. James over Halfpenny for his extra physicality.
  5. Ozzay

    Ozzay Guest

    It seems Gethins gonna be tighthead, hense why Paul James is in!
    Dan Biggar is the future! Sadly for Nicky Robinson..I think hes got it right though!
    Shame about fullback, i think Hook will be there, Halfpenny maybe against Samoa
    Gareth Williams has been playing well mind, i was shocked not to see him!

    I don't agree with this XV but this is what i think Gatland will pick!

    1. Duncan Jones
    2. Matthew Rees
    3. Gethin Jenkins

    4. Alan Wyn Jones
    5. Jonathon Thomas

    6. Ryan Jones
    7. Martyn Williams
    8. Andy Powell

    9. Gareth Cooper
    10. Stephen Jones

    12. Jamie Roberts
    13. Tom Shanklin

    11. Shane Williams
    14. Mark Jones
    15. James Hook
  6. Bluemoon

    Bluemoon Guest

    Yeah, I reckon thats probably the side we will end up seeing, maybe halfpenny over mark jones? Even though halfpenny hasnt had great form recently... who knows?

    As for the squad, Im not so sure Biggar is ready for international level yet, he may be the future, but the jury is out if he can step up.

    Gethin doesn't like playing on the opposite side but he is the type of player who it wont faze. Centres are the safe bet. I think it may be risky not having someone who has played alot at 15, they may be caught out. Should be an interesting AI!
  7. People are already speculating that Gatland is playnig another one of his mind-games, and shall call up more players when the campaign begins. In the mean time, I'm just going to morn poor old Ken Owens. Keeeeennnn.....

    From the squad, my XV to face the All Blacks would be...

    1- Duncan Jones
    2- Matthew Rees
    3- Gethin Jenkins
    4- Alun Wyn Jones
    5- Luke Charteris
    6- Daffyd Jones
    7- Martyn Williams
    8- Ryan Jones

    9- Gareth Cooper
    10- Stephen Jones

    11- Shane Williams/Leigh Halfpenny
    12- Jamie Roberts
    13- Tom Shanklin
    14- Mark Jones/Tom James
    15- James Hook

    I have the two wingers down because Shane and Halfpenny are simular, and Jones and James are relativly simular, in the fact that their bigger and make more tackles. I'd prefur to see Shane/Mark, personally.

    Charteris is in because the rest of the team seems designed around the Scrum, so it'd help to have someone like him who's a massive boost to the Lineout.
  8. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    Backrow will be:

    06 Dafydd Jones
    07 Martyn Williams
    08 Ryan Jones

    I'm confident Gatland has seen his mistakes playing Andy Powell in front of Ryan. Dafydd Jones has been playing too well to ignore. Martyn Williams is a shoe in alongside Ryan Jones at 8.

    We'll probably see JT in the second row, although I'm not sure he offers enough in the scrum. Cooper will also start at scrum half, even though Roberts is the form 9. Shanklin is more likely at 13, not that he's playing well, or links up well with Roberts. And finally Mark Jones will probably be favoured in front of Tom James, pitty as James is a try scoring machine.
  9. Ozzay

    Ozzay Guest

    Nice to see Sam Warburton in the squad
  10. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    An article on the BBC website where Gatland has said why he hasn't chosen Eifion Roberts. I think he makes alot of sense. It's quite obvious to everyone that he's still not the fittest of blokes, he's still carying a big belly. I doubt he'd survive the training sessions in the Wales camp. For those reasons alone, he doesn't deserve a spot. Takign Adam Jones as an example of what loosing a bit of weight and upping his fitness can do for a player, especially a prop. I remember the days of Adam resting at the sides of rucks, or even further back, being a 30min player in Henry's eyes. He's not one of the worlds best hight heads, who get's through a huge amount of work around the field.

    This should motivate Eifion to loose that wight, and work harder on his conditioning. If it doesn't, he doesn't deserve a Wales place. I condone this type of thinking from Gatland. He's giving Eifion a huge incentive, meaning if he does get his act together, he'll be involved for Wales and be a much better player because of it.

    Still can't figure out the ommission of Ken Owens or Daniel Evans though!

    @ Ozzay. Yup, great to see Sam Warberton in the squad. It's another step towards him becoming one of Wales' best forwards imo. Captaincy material aswell, if Wales U20 is anything to go by. I still believe he'll be starting for Wales come the 2011 world cup, quite possibly instead of Martyn Williams.
  11. Meh

    Meh Guest

    A few too many Ospreys methinks.

    I'm not so confident now - I really hope some of those players surprise me.
  12. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    The only two Ospreys players who shouldn't be there are Paul James (f*&$"**) and Huw Bennett. Which makes your point a valid one Meh! Out of curiosity, the squad breaks down like this:

    Blues: 10 players.
    Ospreys: 10 players.
    Scarlets: 6 players.
    Dragons: 2 players.
    Sale: 1 player.
  13. Johnathon Thomas has been cited for an allegied punching incedent. If found guilty, he'll be out of the Intenrationals. Doesn't sound like JT, but then I supose it'll no doubt mean Ian Gough'll end up in the squad, so it's not as bad a thing as it might seem.
  14. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (DuncTheDoodle @ Oct 26 2009, 06:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Fixed that for you :p .

    Yup, saw the punch. Wasn't much of anything though. Doesn't deserve a ban imo.
  15. Bluemoon

    Bluemoon Guest

    Which punch would that be? The one where the man was on the floor or the one where he gave Deniol Jones a left hook just outside the ruck? He was an idiot when he came on against the blues. Not sure why, Ive not seen it of him before.
  16. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    Theres a video up on BBC sport now. He had two attempts at punching Rush, both missed luckily. There was also a body blow on Deiniol Jones. After watching them again, maybe there should be some kinda ban. If it were just the one incident, maybe not, but he wasn't exactly on for that that long, and attempts three punches, landing one.

    Wouldn't be a huge blow if he misses out on the AI's, I don't think he's back to his best and lock is a position weve got huge strength in depth at the moment. Any one of, Dominic Day, Lou Reed, Deiniol Jones and Gough could replace him if he's banned.
  17. cyRil

    cyRil Guest

    I was at the game and saw JT throwing punches in 2 separate incidents and thought what the hell are you doing??!
    Anyway, my team would be;

    15. Leigh Halfpenny
    14. Tom James
    13. Tom Shanklin
    12. Jamie Roberts
    11. Shane Williams

    10. Stephen Jones
    9. Dwayne Peel

    1. Gethin Jenkins
    2. Matthew Rees
    3. Craig Mitchell
    4. Alun-Wyn Jones
    5. Luke Charteris
    6. Dafydd Jones
    7. Martyn Williams
    8. Ryan Jones

    Could maybe squeeze Hook in there somewhere. Our tight 5 doesn't fill me with any confidence.
    I'll predict 2 wins - Australia being one, but I think we'll slip up against either the Argies or Samoa by fielding a weakened side, because we haven't got the strength in this particular squad to do that.
  18. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    I think Gatland will go for experiance for the NZ clash, strength in the backs for the Samoa game, strength up front against the Argies and a nice blend of who's performed for the Aus game.

    By the Aus game I'd hope to see thecfollowing linup:

    01 Gethin Jenkins
    02 Mathew Rees
    03 Craig Mitchell
    04 Alun-Wyn Jones
    05 Luke Charteris
    06 Dafydd Jones
    07 Martyn Williams
    08 Ryan Jones

    09 Dwayne Peel
    10 Stephen Jones
    11 Shane Williams
    12 Jamie Roberts
    13 Jonathan Davies
    14 Tom James
    15 Jame Hook / Leigh Halfpenny

    I think it's the best available from the squad we have. I've never seen much in the Roberts - Shanklin partership at the Blues. So I think something else needs to be tried on this tour. Roberts - Davies would be my choice, but I doubt Davies will be chucked in at the deep end against NZ with only a couple of caps against the USA and Canada to his name. Another would be a Roberts - Hook partership, if they could create space for each other, it could be a great partership.
  19. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    Jonathan Thomas been banned for two weeks, so he misses the All Blacks clash. I think they've got that spot on, wasn't too serious, but was idiotic and deserved a ban. Glad they didn't pussy out like they did with Rhys Thomas.

    Not a huge loss from the starting IV, but he's a big loss from the bench, being able to cover the entire backrow and second row. Should mean Charteris starting which should improve the scrum and linout, even if we loose a bit round the park.
  20. bristol-iain

    bristol-iain Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (dullonien @ Oct 28 2009, 08:25 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    I think it isnt a ban because of what he did but a ban becuause he acted like a plonker.
  21. Wales have called up Morgan Stoddard in the place of Mark Jones, who is injured, meaning we finally have a specialist fullback in the squad, although it's the not either of the form men (Dan Evans and Barry Davis).
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