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Wales (The Gatland returns thread)

Welsh Exile

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Anscombe is out for a long time (6 months minimum according to some reports) so that rules him out. Gatland name checked him but I’m glad he’s ruled out as I think he was done at international level. Obviously not happy he’s injured and hopes he makes a fully recovery but really hoping Gats is now forced to have a look at Evans at 10. Patchell will get injured at some pint as he does and no way Gatland goes Priestland so that only leaves Costelow and Evans so by default Evans should get a look in now which is great. Hope he can take his opportunity if it arises.
 

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Anscombe is out for a long time (6 months minimum according to some reports) so that rules him out. Gatland name checked him but I’m glad he’s ruled out as I think he was done at international level. Obviously not happy he’s injured and hopes he makes a fully recovery but really hoping Gats is now forced to have a look at Evans at 10. Patchell will get injured at some pint as he does and no way Gatland goes Priestland so that only leaves Costelow and Evans so by default Evans should get a look in now which is great. Hope he can take his opportunity if it arises.
What is the sitch with biggar? When is he due back?
 

Welsh Exile

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Would you start Biggar in the 6 nations (if he’s fit)?
100%. Even if Anscombe was fully fit I’d still have Biggar over him. Seeing as Pivac had no intention of developing any Welsh 10s over the last 3 years by bringing back Priestland we don’t have any choice. Costelow is still too young and Evans has basically zero international experience which leaves preistland and Patchell. Patchell is alright but he can’t stay fit but even when he is he’s nothing to write home about. I’m a fan of Jarrod Evans so really hoping he gets a shot in this years 6N. But yeah, Biggar is the best we’ve got. He gets a lot of flack but I think there’s lots of elements to his game that are world class. In fact, if he had pace then he would be an all round world class 10 for me. Many would disagree though I’m sure. I love him though. To be fair, everyone in Wales loves the man Dan Biggar but Biggar the rugby player does split opinion.
 

Bluemoon

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100%. Even if Anscombe was fully fit I’d still have Biggar over him. Seeing as Pivac had no intention of developing any Welsh 10s over the last 3 years by bringing back Priestland we don’t have any choice. Costelow is still too young and Evans has basically zero international experience which leaves preistland and Patchell. Patchell is alright but he can’t stay fit but even when he is he’s nothing to write home about. I’m a fan of Jarrod Evans so really hoping he gets a shot in this years 6N. But yeah, Biggar is the best we’ve got. He gets a lot of flack but I think there’s lots of elements to his game that are world class. In fact, if he had pace then he would be an all round world class 10 for me. Many would disagree though I’m sure. I love him though. To be fair, everyone in Wales loves the man Dan Biggar but Biggar the rugby player does split opinion.

I think Biggar was about to be overtaken by Anscombe until his injury. I think the fall of Sheedy has also been a massive worry. I’d agree the Biggar is still the man to start just like Sexton has held his spot for so long with Ireland. He’s got the experience of winning that this teams needs.

As I watch Jarrod a lot, I’d say this. In open play he’s world class and can unlock defences, pick the right runners or spot a gap. He’s easy to watch in full flow. It also helps him and Tomas Williams have the years of playing together. The down side is he’s more of a confidence player than Priestland and he can really struggle when a pack is under the kosh. I was hoping that he’d be able to learn a bit of game management from Priestland at Cardiff when he arrived, but it’s not seemed that way so far. I’m with you, I’d love to see him take the step up but I am not sure he’s ready just yet, especially in a 6N where in Wales the pressure is extremely high.
 

Welsh Exile

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I think Biggar was about to be overtaken by Anscombe until his injury. I think the fall of Sheedy has also been a massive worry. I’d agree the Biggar is still the man to start just like Sexton has held his spot for so long with Ireland. He’s got the experience of winning that this teams needs.

As I watch Jarrod a lot, I’d say this. In open play he’s world class and can unlock defences, pick the right runners or spot a gap. He’s easy to watch in full flow. It also helps him and Tomas Williams have the years of playing together. The down side is he’s more of a confidence player than Priestland and he can really struggle when a pack is under the kosh. I was hoping that he’d be able to learn a bit of game management from Priestland at Cardiff when he arrived, but it’s not seemed that way so far. I’m with you, I’d love to see him take the step up but I am not sure he’s ready just yet, especially in a 6N where in Wales the pressure is extremely high.
Yeah I agree on everything you’ve written there really. I think Gatland name checking Anscombe (and considering how much of a fan he was prior to him getting injured) as well as Pivac being a fan, showed that Anscombe was very much going to be brought back in. Personally speaking, as I’ve said, I’m not convinced at all. He 100% has lost a yard of pace and that was Anscombes main point of difference, if he’s lost that what is he really offering? Biggar you don’t have to worry as he never had any pace anyway so his game didn’t revolve around that like it did with Anscombe. Then you have the problem with the fact that Anscombe has been out of the game for basically 3 years now. You can count on one hand how many games he’s had for the Ospreys let alone Wales over the last year now he’s out for another 6 months plus. We really should be calling it a day with him now given his age and time out of top flight rugby.

I just wish we had actually exposed Evans to test match rugby a few years ago, think he could’ve been a lot further on in his development had we done so.
 

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Yeah I agree on everything you’ve written there really. I think Gatland name checking Anscombe (and considering how much of a fan he was prior to him getting injured) as well as Pivac being a fan, showed that Anscombe was very much going to be brought back in. Personally speaking, as I’ve said, I’m not convinced at all. He 100% has lost a yard of pace and that was Anscombes main point of difference, if he’s lost that what is he really offering? Biggar you don’t have to worry as he never had any pace anyway so his game didn’t revolve around that like it did with Anscombe. Then you have the problem with the fact that Anscombe has been out of the game for basically 3 years now. You can count on one hand how many games he’s had for the Ospreys let alone Wales over the last year now he’s out for another 6 months plus. We really should be calling it a day with him now given his age and time out of top flight rugby.

I just wish we had actually exposed Evans to test match rugby a few years ago, think he could’ve been a lot further on in his development had we done so.
Yeah agree totally; the 2019 year I was certain Anscombe was the way forward. It’s 100% not the case now. Given it looks like he’s signed a contract in France after this year suggests he’s not confidence in a Wales place himself or he thinks the caps rule will be dropped.

Jarrod could have been involved in a number of autumn and summer squads, even just to be there to get experience in the environment. He’s not the sort of player to drop in during an injury crisis against England.
 

Welsh Exile

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Yeah agree totally; the 2019 year I was certain Anscombe was the way forward. It’s 100% not the case now. Given it looks like he’s signed a contract in France after this year suggests he’s not confidence in a Wales place himself or he thinks the caps rule will be dropped.

Jarrod could have been involved in a number of autumn and summer squads, even just to be there to get experience in the environment. He’s not the sort of player to drop in during an injury crisis against England.
Didn’t know that about Anscombe. No loss really. Fair play to him, he’s 31 and only a few years left. Like Rowlands I don’t begrudge them a move, though it hurts with Rowlands more as he’s a more valuable player for Wales. Max leaving Cardiff is a real shame, though, seeing as it’s been a bit of a breakthrough year for him but at least he’s still eligible to play for Wales as he’s uncapped.
 

Rinkadink

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Sheedy hasn't fallen as such and should definitely be considered as a future 10 for Wales. IMO the problem with Sheedy is more related to the club (aka coaching) than the individual. I don't think many would dispute the claim that AJ Macginty is a very good flyhalf and yet he's been largely poor throughout his time at Bristol so far. Something is not right, somewhere...
 

Welsh Exile

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Sheedy hasn't fallen as such and should definitely be considered as a future 10 for Wales. IMO the problem with Sheedy is more related to the club (aka coaching) than the individual. I don't think many would dispute the claim that AJ Macginty is a very good flyhalf and yet he's been largely poor throughout his time at Bristol so far. Something is not right, somewhere...
Interesting. Are you a Bristol fan?
 

Welsh Exile

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I am indeed.

Potentially of note and from the top of my head, Sheedy has a yearish on contract.
What’s the deal with Lloyd? I know he got injured but he appears to have also not made match day squads as well. Noticed he had 10 mins off the bench the other day.
 

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I am indeed.

Potentially of note and from the top of my head, Sheedy has a yearish on contract.
I wondered if the Ospreys might be interested in him if Anscombe leaves, depending on if the whole budget issue is sorted in time. Can imagine that Anscombe was costing a lot! Might be a chance for revival if what you say is true about the issues at 10 there.
 

dullonien

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Yeah, our 10 situation is a real mess.

Biggar - I've never been his biggest fan, always thought he's too limited to take us to the next level. We played our best stuff with either Priestland ('11-'12) and Anscombe ('19) at 10.

Anscombe - agree with others that we need to look past him. Can't go into the WC with a plan around him now that he's out for 6+ months.

Jarrod Evans - imo he's still our best option, especially if you pair him with a kicking 12 like Hawkins. Cardiff's often weak tight 5 has negatively impacted Jarrod's chances as too often he's playing behind beaten packs.

Patchell - massive shame he's been almost permanently injured since Scarlets won the league. He has his negatives, mainly his defense and accuracy from the tee. But he's probably our most rounded 10 when fit with his pace, passing and big boot all huge positives.

Costellow - lots of potential, but I see him as having very similar weaknesses to Jarrod Evans, namely his game management and kicking. Costellow is slightly quicker, buy Jarrod's passing is far better. Possibly too early for Costellow, but could come good by the WC if given enough gametime.

Sheedy - haven't seen enough of him recently tbh. Probably fewer negatives than his rivals, but his ceiling isn't as high as others either.

Priestland is finished. Ioan Lloyd isn't playing.
 

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What’s the deal with Lloyd? I know he got injured but he appears to have also not made match day squads as well. Noticed he had 10 mins off the bench the other day.
So Ioan Lloyd has under the direction of Lam, apparently decided to focus on 12 for his future instead of The Ultimate Utility Back™ which he started to become through circumstance after playing literally every single position in the backs (except OC) during the previous season. Been bulking up and isn't finished yet but I reckon could be quite handy there, at least at club level. Definitely put effort into his work ons, including keeping the likes of Luamape quiet during matches and has made some fairly big hits to boot. Long term we will see if 12 is the right choice and if he has been brought through properly. A combination of injury and illnesses have basically made it impossible for Ioan to play this season so far, and as Bedlow has returned to fitness combined the emergence of Jenkins (oh my!), Ioan will play his way into the side. Expect to see more after Xmas?

He also has a younger brother called Jac who is similarly talented at age grade in our academy, initially a 10 but is loaned out learning the ropes, but now at 15 (Hartpury if my memory serves correctly at this hour)...

All this has got me thinking I would honestly like to see some special dispensation under "Garland's Law" to allow Welsh players at certain clubs like Bristol and Gloucester to be exempt from the 50 cap rule. Aside from the numerous Welsh players and fanbases having significant numbers of Welsh supporters, the WRFU have even given multiple members of Bristol Bears Women professional contracts. Both the club and WRFU work together to develop players, mostly in the premier 15s competition. It would not be a giant or illogical step to apply something similar to the men's too.

I need sleep after a long day so apologies for the poorly written and meandering post but hope that answers your question a bit.
 

Umaga's Witness

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100%. Even if Anscombe was fully fit I’d still have Biggar over him. Seeing as Pivac had no intention of developing any Welsh 10s over the last 3 years by bringing back Priestland we don’t have any choice. Costelow is still too young and Evans has basically zero international experience which leaves preistland and Patchell. Patchell is alright but he can’t stay fit but even when he is he’s nothing to write home about. I’m a fan of Jarrod Evans so really hoping he gets a shot in this years 6N. But yeah, Biggar is the best we’ve got. He gets a lot of flack but I think there’s lots of elements to his game that are world class. In fact, if he had pace then he would be an all round world class 10 for me. Many would disagree though I’m sure. I love him though. To be fair, everyone in Wales loves the man Dan Biggar but Biggar the rugby player does split opinion.
Yeah, biggar is way better than he gets credit for. In tough, tight, test matches his sheer intensity makes up for his lackings.He may not have the potential of other players, but he plays consistently beyond his potential (through adrenaline) while most players never get close to theirs, on a consistent basis or when it matters most..

The flack he got during the 2021 six nations was amazing considering he was probably the most influential player for wales in a tournament they won.

Perfect for world cups.
 

Welsh Exile

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So Ioan Lloyd has under the direction of Lam, apparently decided to focus on 12 for his future instead of The Ultimate Utility Back™ which he started to become through circumstance after playing literally every single position in the backs (except OC) during the previous season. Been bulking up and isn't finished yet but I reckon could be quite handy there, at least at club level. Definitely put effort into his work ons, including keeping the likes of Luamape quiet during matches and has made some fairly big hits to boot. Long term we will see if 12 is the right choice and if he has been brought through properly. A combination of injury and illnesses have basically made it impossible for Ioan to play this season so far, and as Bedlow has returned to fitness combined the emergence of Jenkins (oh my!), Ioan will play his way into the side. Expect to see more after Xmas?

He also has a younger brother called Jac who is similarly talented at age grade in our academy, initially a 10 but is loaned out learning the ropes, but now at 15 (Hartpury if my memory serves correctly at this hour)...

All this has got me thinking I would honestly like to see some special dispensation under "Garland's Law" to allow Welsh players at certain clubs like Bristol and Gloucester to be exempt from the 50 cap rule. Aside from the numerous Welsh players and fanbases having significant numbers of Welsh supporters, the WRFU have even given multiple members of Bristol Bears Women professional contracts. Both the club and WRFU work together to develop players, mostly in the premier 15s competition. It would not be a giant or illogical step to apply something similar to the men's too.

I need sleep after a long day so apologies for the poorly written and meandering post but hope that answers your question a bit.
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I’ve seen Jac at under 20 level for Wales, he looked decent. Looks an out and out 10. I still think Ioan is a 10 as well but happy for him to develop as a 12. Only seen him play at 12 for Bristol once and that was against the Scarlets and he stood up Jon Davies a treat. Was having a great game until he got injured and had to go off.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you see some changes to the 60 cap rule, and when o say changes I mean scrapped all together but we’ll see.
 

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Although Gethin Jenkins and Stephen Jones won’t be involved at international level, it would be a shame if the regions did not appoint them as they are good coaches just perhaps not quite there yet in terms of experience at international level.
 

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