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Wales Summer Tour

dullonien

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So the squad for Wales' summer tour was announced today:

Wales squad: Forwards: Rob Evans (Scarlets); Wyn Jones (Scarlets); Nicky Smith (Ospreys); Elliot Dee (Dragons); Ryan Elias (Scarlets); Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs); Samson Lee (Scarlets); Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues); Adam Beard (Ospreys); Bradley Davies (Ospreys); Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues); Luke Charteris (Bath); Cory Hill (Dragons, co-captain);James Davies (Scarlets); Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Blues, co-captain); Ross Moriarty (Gloucester); Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues); Aaron Shingler (Scarlets).

Backs: Aled Davies (Scarlets); Gareth Davies (Scarlets); Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues); Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues); Rhys Patchell (Scarlets); Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets); Owen Watkin (Ospreys); Scott Williams (Scarlets); Josh Adams (Worcester Warriors); Hallam Amos (Dragons); Steff Evans (Scarlets); George North (Northampton Saints); Tom Prydie (Scarlets).

As expected, most of the players that toured with the Lions last summer have been given a break, apart from North and Moriarty who returned early from tour after sustaining injuries.

On the whole, I'm happy with the squad. Tom Prydie is obviously a surprise recall, but he's looked sharp for the Scarlets when fit. A little surprised/disappointed not to see Jarrod Evans and Owen Lane in the squad, although I understand the reasons for leaving them out. What grates with me though is that there's always double standards with Gatland. Sam Cross was parachuted into the squad after barely 2 regional games, whereas Jarrod Evans and Lane have shown consistent class for 6 months + yet are told that they need to prove its not a flash in the pan before making the grade.

Anyway, I'd start the following side v's the Boks in the States:

01 Rob Evans
02 Elliot Dee
03 Samson Lee
04 Cory Hill
05 Bradley Davies
06 Aaron Shingler
07 Ellis Jenkins
08 Josh Navidi

09 Tomos Williams
10 Rhys Patchell
11 Steff Evans
12 Hadleigh Parkes
13 Owen Watkin
14 George North
15 Hallam Amos

16 Ryan Elias
17 Nicky Smith
18 Dillon Lewis
19 Seb Davies
20 Ross Moriarty
21 Gareth Davies
22 Gareth Anscombe
23 Scott Williams
 

MikeTheNative

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I agree about the double standards, it's been a bit of a joke really the past few years. Some players having to prove their fitness while others come straight into the team, some players dropped after one bad game while others given another chance. There is only two 10s in the squad so I don't understand not taking Evans at all, even if he only gets a few minutes off the bench in one of the games, the experience would be good for his development. As for Lane, somehow one of the most promising young backs in Welsh rugby, who has been in good form at regional and European level is overlooked for someone who has done ok but not really developed in the 6 years from his debut. Taking Prydie doesn't really make sense especially since Amos, Adams and Patchell all can cover FB as well.

For me this tour as about the new guys proving what they can do at international level, South Africa aren't going to be walkovers and Argentina at home, with the Jaguars who looking good, are going to be tough. I'm expecting big tours from Dee, Jenkins, Watkins and Patchel to hopefully start taking their game to another level. Also I'm hoping for Seb Davies, Dillion Lewis and Tomos Williams to get some decent game time, all deserve chance to prove if they can cut it.
 

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I think that's as strong a squad as could be expected. SA will be a tough but these one-off matches in a neutral country often flatter to deceive. The games against the Pumas will be more difficult and a measure of recent progress.
 

Thingimubob

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Hearing from the SA thread that only 8 of the squad expected to be in contention to play against England will go to DC to play Wales, with rest being fringe players. Team we'll put out won't be a million miles off our 6N squad, with AW Jones, K Owens, Halfpenny and Liam Williams being the only major players missing. Biggar is obviously not there either, but honestly even if we had all available players fit and were putting out the strongest team, I'd still start Patch or Anscombe at 10 as it's time for them to have a proper run in the team.

Saw that Gatland is considering North as a centre for the tour? Said he'd like him to comfortable in the centre and on the wing ready for 2019. Not completely against trying this, just I'd personally prefer to see Parkes and Watkin as the starting 12 - 13 in at least two of the games.

Looking forward to the potential back 2 of Evans, North and Amos though!
 

MikeTheNative

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Charteris, Adams and Francis are out of the tour after premier rugby refused to release them for the first game. Rhodri Jones (sigh), Ashton Hewitt and Aaron Wainwright called up instead.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/44148716

Hopefully Hewitt will get some game time as he does look promising as well as Wainright who has looked pretty decent in a crap Dragons pack. Odd that they called up a back row to replaced a 2nd row though.
 

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And Thomas Young still can’t get in the squad ...
 

Bluemoon

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I’d like to see Watkin get a run of game time, because I think there’s more to come from him and I am really rooting for him to do so.

Lane has been unlucky because I think he’s in better form than Prydie. He’s injured now but it was an unusual call for me.

A big question mark I have is Dillion Lewis. Despite really good form last summer for Wales, he’s been playing a lot for Cardiff RFC this season, even though there has been space on the Cardiff Blues bench at times. Wales seem to favour him slightly more than Cardiff at the moment.
 

Reiser99

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I can understand the Welsh being frustrated. However they also know the rules like every other Union and often have 1 game outside the window. If anyone can enlighten as to why, it would be useful to know. 9th/16th/23rd are the dates and yet the Welsh fixtures are the 2nd/9th/16th.

I can also understand Premiership Rugby's point of view too, as they don't want to set a precedent that would lead to players not playing during televised games.
 

TRF_Olyy

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It's not even like they chose a good date.
It clashes with the collegiate 7s weekend, which is where all the rugby fans will be.
 

dullonien

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I can understand the Welsh being frustrated. However they also know the rules like every other Union and often have 1 game outside the window. If anyone can enlighten as to why, it would be useful to know. 9th/16th/23rd are the dates and yet the Welsh fixtures are the 2nd/9th/16th.

I can also understand Premiership Rugby's point of view too, as they don't want to set a precedent that would lead to players not playing during televised games.

Probably more to do with SA already playing 3 tests v England during the test Windows.

I personally find it frustrating that PRL are so inflexible despite the season being all but over. I know that the RFU pay handsomely for player release, but so do the wru with the regions, yet the Welsh regions release Scottish players without demanding extra compensation or stamping their feet.

Saying that, I think it's obvious that Gats and the wru are using this opportunity to send out another message about how disadvantaged players are who don't play for a Welsh region. I'm sure it'll make Adams and Francis in particular think hard about returning/moving.
 

Ragey Erasmus

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Probably more to do with SA already playing 3 tests v England during the test Windows.

I personally find it frustrating that PRL are so inflexible despite the season being all but over. I know that the RFU pay handsomely for player release, but so do the wru with the regions, yet the Welsh regions release Scottish players without demanding extra compensation or stamping their feet.

Saying that, I think it's obvious that Gats and the wru are using this opportunity to send out another message about how disadvantaged players are who don't play for a Welsh region. I'm sure it'll make Adams and Francis in particular think hard about returning/moving.

Except in previous years there was flexibility and Welsh players were released. I think it's more to do with Wales insisting on playing games outside the window and yet demanding they be treated as if they are inside it. No point having a designated time for internationals if Wales make a habit of playing outside it and demanding player release every time.
 

die_mole

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It's not even like they chose a good date.
It clashes with the collegiate 7s weekend, which is where all the rugby fans will be.

woah... i turned down ARing at the collegiate 7s so I could go to this game (mainly cause it's my least weekend in DC so it's more of a farewell thing)

but yeah a big chunk of their potential fan base is going to be at the 7s tourney

on the plus side I did see a poster for it on the metro yesterday... but i have met so many expats who are into rugby (usually they'll stop and say something about the shirt i'm wearing it) and they have no idea the game is going on
 

dullonien

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Except in previous years there was flexibility and Welsh players were released. I think it's more to do with Wales insisting on playing games outside the window and yet demanding they be treated as if they are inside it. No point having a designated time for internationals if Wales make a habit of playing outside it and demanding player release every time.

Don't get me wrong, it is frustrating that the wru keep organising 4th AI internationals etc. outside of the test Windows, but I'd imagine if it keeps bringing in the extra revenue which can be invested in the regions to make them competitive then it'll continue.

I can also kinda understand PRL's stance, at least it's black and white. Wru know exactly where they stand, so shouldn't be surprised any more.
 

Reiser99

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As I said I can see both sides, but I do feel that maybe the WRU are expecting too much and need to change. If it was now and again fine, but it is a regular occurrence that Wales have 1 international outside the window, and so if it is regular you are basically asking for special treatment. Also there is the selection and announcement before checking if they were available. Maybe it was simply as Dullonien said, to give the players in England a wake up call about playing in England, but it doesn't look from an planning and organising point of view if you just assume they will be released before checking. Personally while both sides could be more flexible, the WRU are the ones who chose to make it an issue.
 

Thingimubob

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As I said I can see both sides, but I do feel that maybe the WRU are expecting too much and need to change. If it was now and again fine, but it is a regular occurrence that Wales have 1 international outside the window, and so if it is regular you are basically asking for special treatment. Also there is the selection and announcement before checking if they were available. Maybe it was simply as Dullonien said, to give the players in England a wake up call about playing in England, but it doesn't look from an planning and organising point of view if you just assume they will be released before checking. Personally while both sides could be more flexible, the WRU are the ones who chose to make it an issue.

Can see both sides too, but also can see both sides are just being unnecessarily annoying about the whole situation. It's players like Adams who I feel are missing out the most - Worcester's season is over, he wont be playing for them until August/September, and overall would probably greatly benefit from the experience of being in the Welsh squad and going to DC and Argentina. I understand it a little more for someone like Francis who is likely to be involved for Exeter during the play offs, but for me there's no real reason not to be flexible for someone like Adams. At the same time WRU/Gatland's stance on him is equally harsh and inflexible as they're happy to cut him loose from the tour to send a message about playing outside of Wales as Dull said / use him as a pawn in this daft debate that repeats itself constantly.
 

Reiser99

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Can see both sides too, but also can see both sides are just being unnecessarily annoying about the whole situation. It's players like Adams who I feel are missing out the most - Worcester's season is over, he wont be playing for them until August/September, and overall would probably greatly benefit from the experience of being in the Welsh squad and going to DC and Argentina. I understand it a little more for someone like Francis who is likely to be involved for Exeter during the play offs, but for me there's no real reason not to be flexible for someone like Adams. At the same time WRU/Gatland's stance on him is equally harsh and inflexible as they're happy to cut him loose from the tour to send a message about playing outside of Wales as Dull said / use him as a pawn in this daft debate that repeats itself constantly.

I agree as well. I think for me though the issue for Premiership Rugby is that it's not likely to be a one off and they don't want to set a precedent. I feel if Wales did once a year or once every two years then maybe, but it seems to be every time during the AI's and often during the summer too. They know the window just like everyone else and have the same amount of time to organise events so it's a choice they are making.
 

Thingimubob

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I agree as well. I think for me though the issue for Premiership Rugby is that it's not likely to be a one off and they don't want to set a precedent. I feel if Wales did once a year or once every two years then maybe, but it seems to be every time during the AI's and often during the summer too. They know the window just like everyone else and have the same amount of time to organise events so it's a choice they are making.

I mean the easiest way round this would be for the WRU to set up an agreement with Premiership Rugby to release players on a case by case basis with some sort of payment/compensation plan in place, similar to what the RFU do with players in the EPS.

It wouldn't be that costly for the WRU when combined with the 60 cap rule for those playing outside of Wales , as you'll only have handful who'll qualify via the these rules - even when you include the exceptions to the rule like Adams.

However I'm sure that's far too reasonable for both sides...
 

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argie

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New blood in the roster of Los Pumas to face Wales in San Juan (9 June) and Santa Fe (16 June), and Scotland in Resistencia (23 June).
Six debutants:
- Props Nicolás LEIVA, Javier DÍAZ, and Santiago MEDRANO
- Centre Bautista EZCURRA
- Winger Bautista DELGUY
- Full-Back Juan Cruz MALLÍA

And the return of the injuried Pablo MATERA and Matías MORONI.
 
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