Wales team prediction for the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by Dropkick1, May 5, 2017.

  1. Dropkick1

    Dropkick1 Academy Player

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    1 Rob evens
    2 Ken Owens
    3 Samson Lee
    4 Cory hill
    5 awn Jones (captain)
    6 Sam Warburton
    7 Justin tipuric
    8 Toby faletau
    9 Rhys Webb
    10 Sam Davids
    11 Kelien Giles
    12 Owen Williams
    13 Jack Roberts
    14 George North
    15 Liam Williams
     
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  3. BPM

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    No way Jack Roberts is getting in ... don't get me wrong, he's a good player, but I don't believe he's test class and Jiffy Junior is unlikely to fall that far from grace in the next 2 years.

    Other Davies in the 13 shirt, I think Francis is better than Lee so I'd switch those two. The rest is decent although I think Owen Williams has his eye on the 10 shirt at Gloucester so whether he can keep a specialist centre like Scott Williams out of the team is debatable.
     
  4. welshglory

    welshglory First XV

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    1. Evans
    2. Owens
    3. Lee
    4. Rory Thornton
    5. AW Jones
    6. Moriarty
    7. Warburton
    8. Faletau

    Only Thornton is not a concrete choice. I think he will step up over the next season.

    9. Webb
    10. Davies
    11. North/Giles (still not sure if Giles will live up to his hype, maybe too small for internationals)
    12. Scott Williams (Id like to see Beck)
    13. JD2
    14. Halfpenny/Evans/Amos (if Halfpenny is still around he will probably play 15 but let's just dream a little)
    15. Williams
     
  5. dullonien

    dullonien International

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    A little out there, but:

    01 Rob Evans. Really developed his game last season, adding some great passing and touches in the loose to his already powerful carrying and scrummaging game. Personally I would have selected him ahead of Marler for the Lions due to his superior all round game, but injury in the Pro12 final meant it didn't really matter in the end.
    02 Ryan Elias. I've been seriously impressed with this young hooker. He's a physical lad, who carries the ball effectively. His basics are solid, hitting his jumpers well in the lineout and offering grunt in the scrum. There's a lot of good competition in Wales at hooker, but I think Elias has the potential to be a world class players, I've never felt the same way about Owens/Baldwin/Dacey/Dee/Parry.
    03 Samson Lee. He's simply a better player that Francis, who I really don't rate. Lee really struggled to overcome that bad injury v Ireland, but was showing signs of returning to his best at the tail end of last season, looking dominant at scrum time again and offering himself in the loose. Still needs to work on his game in the loose, but unless a player comes from nowhere, Lee should be backed as our first choice.
    04 TBA. Answers on a postcard please! Honestly, hopefully one of Beard, Thorton or Seb Davies come through quickly. Charteris is approaching the end of his career, and consistency has always been an issue anyway. Bradley Davies isn't half the player he once was + he lacks the mobility required nowadays. Ball is probably the front-runner, but in comparison of the options England have, he comes up short on the athleticism front.
    05 Alun-Wyn Jones. Worryingly, it looks like the end of the great AWJ's career might not be far off! I'd expect him to continue till the WC at the earliest, but at times that didn't look a certainty on the Lions tour. Still a heartbeat of this Welsh side, and with little competition a certainty to start atm.
    06 Ross Moriarty. Could offer some real balance alongside Tips and Faletau with his physicality coming to the fore. It's tempting to go the dual openside route as there'd always be another openside to slot in when injuries occur. Warbs/Griffiths/Young/Navidi/Boyde at blindside, Tips/Davies/Jenkins on the openside....
    07 Justin Tipuric. IMO a certain starter, and probably the best Welsh player over the last 5 years. Supremely talented yet does his basics incredibly well.
    08 Talulupe Faletau. Another certain starter. He's a better player that what he showed with the Lions, even if he was still pretty decent out in NZ. We need to start more of him on the front foot, and not mopping up poor ball at the back of scrums.

    09 Rhys Webb. Needs to add consistency, especially with his box kicking, but he's certainly one of the most dangerous 9's in world rugby.
    10 Sam Davies. His poor form at the tail end of last season is a small worry, but prior to that he was looking very, very classy indeed. Has a lovely mix to his game, with accurate kicking, lovely passing, and a developing running game. Seems to be capable of making his tackles too.
    11 George North / Keelan Giles. I'd never bet against George North, but his downward spiral is worrying. On his day, he's such a great blend of pace, power and agility, but he struggles to get involved in games, and I still worry what impact his concussions have had. We could have a special player on our hands in Giles. I'd back his pace and stepping ability v's just about every other player out there, and he doesn't shirt his defensive responsibilities. Needs a chance to show what he can do.
    12 Rhys Patchell. Really struggled here. I went round in circles with Patchell, Beck, and Scott Williams, but in the end plumped with Patchell for his superior all round game, in particular his siege gun boot, an area both Beck and Williams really lack. Patchell also has a great passing game, the pace of a winger, and stands at a healthy 6'2", although a little light maybe at 14 1/2 stone. Owen Watkin could be another option, but we'll need to wait and see how he returns from a year out of the game first.
    13 Jon Davies. I've still got slight reservations over his passing game, but the rest of his game is just too damned good! His confidence should be sky-high after the Lions.
    14 Steff Evans. At this moment in time, his all round game is a little more developed than Giles, playing with a little more vision and involving himself more in the build-up to try's. Hallam Amos is another strong candidate, but maybe lacks a touch of pace and stepping ability in comparison to Evans.
    15 Liam Williams. I'd expect Liam Williams to now be Wales' first choice fullback after the Lions tour, but I won't rule Halfpenny out just yet. In hindsight, Halfpenny may have been the better choice in the 2nd and 3rd Lions tests, where they lacked a real solid presence to mop up high balls. I'd certainly like to see Williams there though, forming a potent counter-attacking back three with North/Giles/Evans.

    16 Ken Owens. Good all round game should see him continue to be in the mix.
    17 Nicky Smith. If he can sort his scrummaging out, he offers a hell of a lot in the loose.
    18 Dillon Lewis. This is more in hope than anything. He was showing signs of the sort of scrummaging and mobility to really flourish. I'm praying he stays injury free and get's a run of games for the Blues at the very least.
    19 Aaron Shingler. Brings real athleticism, pace and handling ability + a great lineout game. IMO he should be seen as a perfect bench option to cover blindside and lock.
    20 James Davies. The impact he makes for the Scarlets is unreal at times. He secures so many turnovers and is involved in so many try's that he fully deserves a shot for Wales. There's question marks over his temperament, but still, he's a special player alright.
    21 Gareth Davies. When he's on song, his searing pace really causes havoc. I do worry about his vision though, and he has dropped the last pass with the try-line at his mercy a few too many times for my liking. For now, he's still 2nd in line, but the likes of Tomos Williams are hot on his heels.
    22 Scott Williams. A great bench option, covering both center positions, and has filled in on the wing before.
    23 Keelan Giles / George North. Either would offer considerable impact off the bench. Could be dangerous not to have 10 or 15 cover on the bench as injury would result in reshuffling of the backline with Patchell likely covering both from 12! Anscombe could offer the versatile option to cover 10/15.

    Gats/Howley will likely stick with a lineup like this though (not terrible by any means, but lacking some of the pace and attacking ability that many of the youngsters offer):

    01 Rob Evans
    02 Ken Owens
    03 Tomas Francis
    04 Jake Ball
    05 Alun-Wyn Jones
    06 Ross Moriarty
    07 Sam Warburton
    08 Tulupe Faletau

    09 Rhys Webb
    10 Dan Biggar
    11 George North
    12 Scott Williams
    13 Jon Davies
    14 Alex Cuthbert / Lee Halfpenny
    15 Liam Williams

    16 Kristian Dacey
    17 Gethin Jenkins
    18 Samson Lee
    19 Luke Charteris
    20 Justin Tipuric
    21 Gareth Davies
    22 Sam Davies
    23 Lee Halfpenny / Alex Cuthbert
     
  6. BPM

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    Good 23 there but I'd be surprised if Elias and Tipuric leapfrog Owens and Warburton this side of 2019.

    Wales really are spoilt for choice in the back row and it's very difficult to pick from Warburton, Faletau, Tipuric, Moriarty and Davies - five players who would have a good shout of starting for most teams. Young and Jenkins are also very good back up options.

    I think your comments on Faletau were a touch harsh - I actually thought he was one of the stand-out players for the Lions - certainly better than 'pretty decent'. Either way, I think we agree he is a top-class player and a shoo-in at 8, if fit.

    Warburton had a very good Lions tour IMO and will deservedly be in the Wales side. Whether that's at 6 or 7 remains to be seen. Personally, I'd play him at 6 with Tipuric or James Davies at 7 and then make a decision between having the unlucky one of those two on the bench or Moriarty depending on the opposition/what sort of game it's likely to be. Basically if it's going to be a faster, looser game it's Tipuric or Davies every time, whereas if it's a slugfest it's Moriarty.

    I also thought Jake Ball had his best season in a Wales shirt in 16/17 and deserves to be first choice unless Charteris is in form or Thornton, Seb Davies or Beard really demands the shirt, which doesn't look like happening in the immediate term IMO.

    I'm curious to see how much Liam Williams' showings for the Lions influence the fullback selection. With the exception of his boot, Halfpenny just doesn't offer enough to be first choice, but it really depends whether Gatland thinks any of the wingers are better options to the point that he can move Williams to 15.

    As a neutral, I'd go for:

    1. R. Evans
    2. Owens
    3. Lee
    4. Ball
    5. Jones
    6. Warburton
    7. Tipuric
    8. Faletau
    9. Webb
    10. S. Davies
    11. Giles
    12. S. Williams
    13. Jon Davies
    14. S. Evans
    15. L. Williams

    16. Elias
    17. Smith
    18. Francis
    19. Shingler
    20. James Davies
    21. G. Davies
    22. O. Williams
    23. Patchell

    Potentially harsh on North, but I agree with all of your comments above and I think Giles could be electric.
     
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  7. dullonien

    dullonien International

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    Aye, you're probable right BPM, I took it a little far in a few positions, and the chances of it happening prior to 2019 is nil, especially looking at how few players were blooded post 2015 prior to the summer tour.

    The side you've selected would do just nicely, but alas I don't see Gats and Howley being so bold in the backline with Sam Davies, Giles and Evans all starting. Hopefully 1 or 2 can force their way in. Ideally North will have rediscovered his best form by then, so would occupy one wing berth with a shootout between Giles, Evans, Amos and co. for the other wing berth. What's good is that there's now some genuine competition out wide, something we haven't seen for a long time! So if North doesn't start performing, it's feasible to drop him and bring someone else in.
     
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  8. BPM

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    Fair point - that might have been a touch radical considering who will be selecting the side.

    As an aside, it's somewhat telling that we both forgot Cory 'the Lion' Hill when discussing the 2nd row options!
     
  9. dullonien

    dullonien International

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    It was a surprise to me when he was called into the Welsh squad, ridiculous that he was called into the Lions. Don't get me wrong, he's a decent regional player, and did better than I expected for Wales, but he's not the caliber of player required imo. The likes of Thorton, Beard & Seb Davies have far higher ceilings.
     
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  10. BPM

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    Agreed. It might be a brave call, but I'd do away with Charteris and focus on bringing Thornton, Beard and Davies through behind AWJ and Ball.

    Charteris is a good player but he'll be 36 in 2019 and has become increasingly prone to injury/loss of form, so whether he'll be physically up to making it to Japan has to be in question. With Ball playing well, the benefit of developing the younger guys significantly outweighs the value of Charteris' experience IMO.
     
  11. JonoCymru

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    Would also like to see Patchell at 12 as a 2nd playmaker. Interesting Dullonien doesn't think Owens is world class. IMO the best 2 in the Northern hemisphere. He's a real warrior and Wales lineout is the best it's been for years because as far back as i can remember our lineout has always been dour.
     
  12. TRF_Cymro

    TRF_Cymro Cymro The White

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    Lots of interesting and good points made ...

    Would certainly expect Warbs to make the journey in the backrow. Elias could be the bolter but would have Owens in front currently. Would love to see Owen Williams in at 12, but would not say no to Rhys Patchell there. If Gatland has truly turned the corner then his selection for the Autumn AI's will be an indication of how the future goes.
     
  13. Chief Pete

    Chief Pete Academy Player

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    Proud Englishman but as a rugby fan I want the home nation's to be as strong and as competitive as possible, so for what's it's worth (very little) he's my unbiased opinion on Wales with a view to the 2019 WC, the 2016 Autumn international's were a massive missed opportunity in term's of blooding new player's, Gatland & co have been guilty of taking his main player's to the well and as a result fringe player's have at best had a stuttering international career, Eli Walker, Hallam Amos, Steff Evans etc should all have a few more caps under their belt instead of constantly putting Alex Cuthbert in, who was clearly struggling. So with Australia, SA & New Zealand in Autumn along with Georgia does Gatland sacrifice result's and (potentially) hefty defeats by introducing player's for experience, personally I'd use these games to work new player's in and forget about result's and concentrate on performance and working with new combo's and system's, I'd also sacrifice the 2018 6N for the same reason, giving potential RWC squad picks a year of international rugby with matches against Aus, NZ, SA & a 6N campaign...so my picks are..

    1) Rob Evans, first choice by a mile, shocked Gatland ignored him for the Lions.17 Nicky Smith, offers plenty in the loose, good carrier, need's to improve his scrummaging.
    2) Ken Owens, still first choice come 2019 for me, hopefully Ryan Elias get's serious game time to take the 16 shirt.
    3) Samson Lee, At one point I had Lee as starting TH for the lions, he was scrummaging like a demon at the time, Tomas Francis is so inconsistent but I don't see anyone coming through to challenge, so he get's the 18 shirt.
    4) Jake Ball, best of the rest, average bunch of locks apart from AWJ.
    5) Alun Wyn Jones, struggled at times this season but still Wales best lock by some distance, as for the bench lock ?
    6) Sam Warburton, playing at blindside as there is a better 7 in Wales, Ross Moriarty get's the 20 shirt.
    7) Justin Tipuric, pick's itself IMO.
    8) Talupe Falateu, again world class, obvious pick.
    9) Rhys Webb, Wales are blessed with 2 quality SH's in Webb and Gareth Davies, so I wouldn't be surprised if either are starting with the other wearing 21.
    10) Sam Davies, This is where I change and go off script, time to trust the 10 shirt with the golden boy.
    12 & 13) Owen Williams/Rhys Patchell & Jon Davies with Scott Williams coming off the bench.
    11 & 14) Wingers spots are wide open, I wouldn't be surprised if George North is out of the equation come 2019 due to Concussion/Injury issue's, I'd hope to see Keelan Giles, Steff Evans, Hallam Amos & Eli Walker get game time along the way, if North is fit and on form then I'd go with North and Evans with potentially Giles or Halfpenny taking the 23 shirt, playing too 10's from the start would allow for S. Williams and another from the bench.
    15) Liam Williams, obvious choice, Gatland's put himself into a corner after selecting him at FB for the Lions over Halfpenny.

    Far more knowledgeable Wales rugby fan's on the forum than me but I'm in bed ill and a bit bored, so I thought I'd have a go...
     
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  14. valley commando

    valley commando BANNED!!!

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    Cracking selection, can't believe you are the 1st to get James Davies in the 23, you also have my choices 1 to 15 wit the possible exception of Owens, Dacey may be the better choice come WC, I see what you are saying about North, but he has been distinctly one dimensional over the last 2 seasons, whereas Steff Evans in possibly the form winger in the UK as we speak
     
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