Your Wales Squad for the Autumn

Discussion in 'International Test Matches' started by DuncTheDoodle, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. What would your Wales squad for the Autumn Internationals be, based on the begining of the season? Mine would comprise of...

    (Names in brackets means 'Maybes')

    Fullbacks

    Lee Byrne, Jason Tovey, Barry Davis

    (Dan Evans)

    -An area of strength for Wales. Byrne is a given, and I expect Tovey to become the second-choice fullback this year. Excellent player.

    Wingers

    Shane Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Mark Jones, Richard Fussell

    (Tom James, Aled Brew, Chris 'Check-Eye' [Not clue how you spell it.])

    -Richard Fussell might seem slightly left-field, but he's been great for the Dragons, and deserves a Wales spot. Leigh Halfpenny is a given, Mark Jones has been all over the place for the Scarlets, and Shane Williams can always sprinkle the magic dust. I regret leaving out Tom James, but he's still an excellent player.

    Centre

    Jamie Roberts, Tom Shanklin, Jon Davis, James Hook, Andrew Bishop

    (Ashley Smith, Gavin Evans, Gavin Henson)

    -I know Henson is unlikely and the Blues seem to have something against Evans, despite him being excellent in the friendlies. Jamie Roberts is amongst the best centres in the world, Shanks is sually solid, and hopefully he'll cement that on saturday, Hook's unlikely as a 10, but his talent would be wasted if he was dropped, Bishop rarely has a bad game and Jon Davis has impressed me a for the Scarlets.

    Fly Half

    Stephen Jones, Nicky Robinson

    (Dan Biggar, James Hook)

    -Stephen Jones is the best 10 in Europe, and Nicky Robinson is in the form of his life.

    Scrum Half

    Mike Phillips, Dwayne Peel, Martin Roberts

    (Gareth Cooper, Tom Isaacs)

    -Hopefulyl Peely will be fit, so his and Phillips inclusions should be a given. Martin Roberts has been a lot quicker than Cooper, and having the same kind of desisions, so that's why I've chosen him instead.

    Back Row

    Ryan Jones, Andy Powell, Martyn Williams, (Hopefully) Sam Warbutton, Daf Jones, Joe Beerman

    (Johnathon Thomas, anyone else who's decent and fit!)

    Powell needs a couple of decent games under his belt, and he'll be in the team, Ryan probally won't be captain, but shall play nonetheless, Daffyd Jones has been all over the place, Beerman's the same, but I thought I'd include him seperatly because he's newly qualified, and Sam Warbutton is the second most promising player in Wales to Halfpenny.

    Locks

    Alun Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Ian Gouth, Bradly Davis

    (Luke Charteris, somebody convinces Paul Tito to get a Welsh passport)

    AWJ=God as far as locks are concered, and Ian Evans is clearly Jesus in that case, if his post-injury form as his pre-injury form. Ian Gouth is a workhorse, and Bradley Davis is a solid linout catcher.

    Hookers

    Ken Owens, Matthew Rees, Gareth Williams

    (Richard Hibbard)

    The suprise of the season so far hasn't been the Dragons or Edinburgh's great perofmances, but Ken Owens. The man's incredible. He looks like a back row player on the ball, a monster in the scrum and a laser-targeted missle launcher with lineout throws. Gareth Williams has impressed me, too.


    Prop

    Gethin Jenkins (Please...), Duncan Jones, John Yapp, Effiron-Lewis Roberts

    (Anyone else who's Welsh and on the chunky side)

    I'm a Duncan fan. The yellow carding was unlike him, and hopefully he'll strike back from it once given the chance. Plsu with Adam out, we need at least one hairbear in the 22. Yapp is a moron, but a mighty one, and can destroy scrums and 'The Fridge' is the closest to Adam we've got in all besides hair.



    STARTING XV:

    15- Byrne
    14- Halfpenny
    13- Hook/Shanklin
    12- Jamie Roberts
    11- Mark Jones (Shane Williams if he gets some good games in)
    10- Jones
    9- Phillips

    8- R Jones
    7- M Williams
    6- D Jones
    5- I Evans
    4- AWJ
    3- Jenkins
    2- Owens
    1- Duncan


    Well there you have it. Anyone else dare write their entire squad?
     
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  3. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    First thing, what will the size of the squad be? Something around the 32-34, I can't remember what it was last year.

    Here's mine then, working on a squad of 34. In some areas I'm trying to look ahead, therefore no room for Barry Davies, Ian Gough, Duncan Jones, Mark Jones etc. I can't see Martyn being availiable, but I'm hoping for Gethin.

    Fullbacks

    Lee Burne, Daniel Evans, Jason Tovey

    Wings

    Shane Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Tom James, Richard Fussell

    Centres

    Jamie Roberts, Tom Shanklin, Jonathan Davies, James Hook

    Outside Halves

    Stephen Jones, Nicky Robinson, Daniel Biggar

    Scrum Halves

    Mike Phillips, Dwayne Peel, Matrin Roberts

    Backrow

    Ryan Jones, Jonathan Thomas, Joe Bearman, Sam Warberton, Dafydd Jones, Dan Lydiate

    Second Row

    Alun-Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Bradley Davies, Lou Reed

    Hookers

    Mathew Rees, Ken Owens, Richard Hibbard

    Props

    Gethin Jenkins, Eifion-Lewis Roberts, Iestyn Thomas, Craig Mitchell

    Starting 22

    01 Gethin Jenkins
    02 Ken Owens
    03 Eifion-Lewis Roberts
    04 Alun-Wyn Jones ©
    05 Ian Evans
    06 Dafydd Jones
    07 Sam Warberton
    08 Ryan Jones

    09 Mike Phillips
    10 Stephen Jones
    11 Shane Williams
    12 Jamie Roberts
    13 James Hook
    14 Leigh Halfpenny
    15 Lee Burne

    16 Mathew Rees
    17 Iestyn Thomas
    18 Jonathan Thomas
    19 Joe Bearman
    20 Dwayne Peel
    21 Tom Shanklin
    22 Tom James
     
  4. Blindside6

    Blindside6 Guest

    I've gone for a squad of 32 as I recall from last year that Gatland likes to name a small squad but have fringe players who train on and off with them. If Gethin is fit he is in, if not then John Yapp as cover. Also after watching Jon Thomas's return for the Ospreys on friday, if he continues in that form, he has to be in at 6.

    Fullbacks

    Lee Byrne, Jason Tovey

    Wings

    Shane Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Tom James, Mark Jones

    Centres

    Jamie Roberts, Tom Shanklin, Andrew Bishop, Jamie Robinson

    Outside Halves

    Stephen Jones, Nicky Robinson, James Hook

    Scrum Halves

    Mike Phillips, Dwayne Peel, Gareth Cooper

    Backrow

    Ryan Jones, Jonathan Thomas, Martin Williams, Andy Powell, Gareth Delve

    Second Row

    Alun-Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Bradley Davies, Ian Gough

    Hookers

    Mathew Rees, Richard Hibbard, Gareth Williams

    Props

    Gethin Jenkins (if fit), Eifion-Lewis Roberts, Rhys Thomas, Duncan Jones, John Yapp

    Starting 22

    01 Gethin Jenkins (Duncan Jones)
    02 Matthew Rees
    03 Eifion-Lewis Roberts
    04 Alun-Wyn Jones
    05 Ian Evans
    06 Jonathan Thomas
    07 Martyn Williams
    08 Ryan Jones ©

    09 Mike Phillips
    10 Stephen Jones
    11 Shane Williams
    12 Jamie Roberts
    13 Tom Shanklin
    14 Leigh Halfpenny
    15 Lee Byrne

    16 Richard Hibbard
    17 Duncan Jones (John Yapp)
    18 Ian Gough
    19 Andy Powell
    20 Dwayne Peel
    21 James Hook
    22 Tom James
     
  5. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    I can't see Martyn Williams being fit, hasn't he said so himself? I also wouldn't be surprised to see a squad of 34 this year (I think you're right that it was 32 last year), because the likes of Daniel Evans and Biggar deserve to be there.

    I personally hope Bishop doesn't make it, doesn't offer enough imo. He's got poor hands and isn't all that creative. I think Jonathan Davies has been playing mutch better than him this season, and is younger to boot. Jamie Robinson could be in with an outside chance, but his move to France has really put him out of my (and possibly Gatland's) thoughts. I can see Hook being in the squad as a centre, his form at 10 has been dire, and there's Biggar and Nicky who have been playing better. At scrum half, Cooper is playing himself out of contention at the moment, wheras Martin Roberts has stopped box kicking everything and started playing some great stuff. Roberts has had a few lapses though!

    In the backrow, maybe Powell will be there, but I'm not keen on a layer solely there as an impact sub. He's not good enough to start as he does f**k all work. Dafydd Jones has had a great start of the season, looks like his old self out there. He can also cover openside in the likely absence of Martyn. Gareth Delve has unfortunately probably blown his chance by picking up a 3week ban, if so Bearman deserves his chance. He's Welsh qualified now and has been one of the best 8's playing in Wales for over two years. Warberton will probably be given a spot, Gatland needs to find a permanent replacement for Marty Williams and Warberton is front of the line. I can see Ben Lewis training with the squad in an unofficial way.

    Can't see the point of having Ian Gough in the squad. He's had a poor start to the season, and he looks over the hill imo. With Charteris, Lou Reed and Domonic Day all putting their hands up, one of them will take his place. Either one is good with me. Haven't had a chance to see any of the Dragons matches in full, so can't comment on Charteris, but the two Scarlets players have looked very capable.

    Ken Owens will hopefully get in ahead of Gareth Williams. William's time was last season, and Gatland obviously doesn't like him. I probably agree that he's too small at international level, where a solid scrum is so important. Ken Owens is in pole position to start, and that's saying huge amounts, considering the Lions first choice is back tonight. Rees has a huge battle on his hands, linout throwing will be the key. That is where Ken Owens is streets ahead of the competiton. In the front row, Duncan Jones or Iestyn Thomas is a close call, but both are ahead of Yapp. Craig Mitchell is a strong scrummager, so I hope he get's in ahead of Rhys Thomas. Gethin would be a huge boost if fit.
     
  6. I've been impressed by Eifion Lewis-Roberts lately, and I'm pretty confident he'll be the man to replace Adam, and Ryan Jones' form has been outstanding, while Alun Wyn's has been pretty average for him. I'd take back what I said about Ryan's captaincy, he's now in pole position.
     
  7. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    Well, looks like Gatland will have a huge boost for the AI's. Both Gethin Jenkins and Martyn Williams should be fit. Gethin could be back for next weeks game against Sale, while Martyn might be back for the Magners League game against Leinster a week before Wales play the All Blacks.

    So it looks like Gethin will be certainly be starting against New Zealand, while Martyn is touch and go. Having one of them back will be a huge boost, having both back would be increadible.
     
  8. ...And has just received a huge loss by not having Lee Byrne or Ian Evans back.

    Aled Brew was fantastic last weekend for against Gloucester. Fussell was pretty average. I'd be tempted to swap them around in my squad.
     
  9. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    If Martyn Williams is fit, there's gonna be a huge battle for the no. 6 shirt (taking that Ryan Jones will be at 8). Dafydd Jones and Joe Bearman are playing exceptionally well at the moment, and there's Lydiyte and Andy Powell pushing for that place aswell. If Warberton has another game like last weekend, he'll be a serious contender aswell. Dafydd Jones is probably the front runner (great to be saying that again with such enthusiasm).

    If Martyn Willias isn't fit, then one of Dafydd Jones and Warberton will be favourites to fill his shoes, and the battle for the blindside get's slightly less intense.

    Looking back at my sqaud, replace Lee Burne with Aled Brew (moving Leigh Halfpenny into the fullback bracket). Add Martyn Williams into the backrow, with Jonathan Thomas' name moving into the second row's instead of Ian Evans. Bradley Davies is unlikely to be fit, therefore Charteris comes in for him. Craig Mitchell isn't getting the gametime I expected in the HC, therefore Gatland may not pick him. If not Rhys Thomas instead.

    Great squad imo. The regions appear to be building nicely, and it's great to see good representation from all regions. Looking forward to November.
     
  10. Blindside6

    Blindside6 Guest

    Thinking purely about the first game against the All Blacks then the back row I'd select would be

    6 Jon Thomas
    7 Martyn
    8 Ryan Jones

    That has a great balance to it and I believe that JT is still the best WQ Blindside.

    The second row should be Gough & AWJ with Charteris on the bench. Gough seems to be out of favour with people at the moment but with him you know exactly what you'll get and that is 100% commitment to the cause and a huge presence at the breakdowns.

    I'm not quite as clear cut about how the gap Byrne has left should be filled. I know in the past Leigh Halfpenny has played there but he doesn't get much practice as Ben Blair is the 1st choice 15 at the Blues. He played there recently when Blair was injured, vs Glasgow, and he looked very shakey. Against high balls from the ABs he could be in trouble. I'd be tempted to use one of the youngsters who are performing well for the regions, either Dan Evans or Jason Tovey. If I was selecting now I'd go for Tovey.
     
  11. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    Gough hasn't been performing for a while. The games he's had for the Ospreys have been mediocre at best. His huge presence around the field seems to have gone. I heven't seen him put a big tackle in for a while, and he hasn't been carrying. I think age has caught up with him, and he's lost the fitness needed for his style of play. So many other locks are playing better than him at the moment, the only reason to pick Gough would be because he was good for Wales a couple of seasons ago!

    I don't see how we can leave Dafydd Jones out of the backrow with him playing so well. It's taken him years to regain this form, the kinda form that made him such a huge player for Wales in 2004. And because Jonathan Thomas is versatile enough to play lock, I'd play him there to add the extra grunt and ball carrying ability we need to beat the AB's. Thomas and Dafydd Jones can also give a big had to Martyn Williams on the deck, as both have played 7 before. If Martyn is out, then move Daf Jones to 7 and bring Bearnam in at 6 imo. We don't need Andy Powell as a strike runner when players from 4-8 can all carry effectively + Roberts at 12.

    You're quite right about Halfpenny, maybe he shouldn't be shifted to full back. I'd choose Dan Evans at the moment, as his form is better than Tovey's. He's also better under the high ball, and a big boot is always welcome. I wouldn't personally move Jamie Roberts, he's needed at centre where he plays best. His defense in that area is also invaluable.
     
  12. Blindside6

    Blindside6 Guest

    Got to disagree with you about Gough. He's a big bloke that gives you the bulk that will be needed in the scrum particularly as we may not have our first choice props available.
     
  13. I agree with Blindside6 about Gouth- If we're stuck with John Yapp (Erm, even though he's injured, too.) and Cai Griffish as out first-choice props, then we'd need to have someone like Gouth rather than two Alun Wyns in order to balance out the pack.

    Having Gethin back is a massive boost. My starting XV following recent recoveries/injuries would be...


    1. D Jones
    2. K Owens/M. Rees (I'm afraid throwing young Ken in against the All Blacks as his first cap isn't a good move, but he is the form hooker in Wales.)
    3. G Jenkins (Shifted to Tighthead, so Duncan can move in. Jenkins can play either side anyway, so it's no biggy.)
    4. Alun Wyn Jones
    5. J Thomas
    6. J Beerman
    7. M Williams/D Jones
    8. R Jones

    9. M Phillips/S Williams (If Phillips' injury does rule him out. Shane's a fine SH, and means we can have a more defensivly-enginered Back Three.)
    10. S Jones

    11. T James/S Williams (If he's not at 9)
    12. J Roberts
    13. T Shanklin
    14. M Jones
    15. J Hook

    Halfpenny could easily come in on either wing or fullback, but I feel Jones, James and Hook are better defenders, which we'll need against NZ. And I'm not going to pick Evans or Tovey, as it wouldn't be a good first experience, really.

    E Roberts, Owens, Gouth, Powell, Halfpenny, Peel and Robinson on the bench.
     
  14. dullonien

    dullonien Guest

    Duncan Jones has done nothing to deserve a place in the Welsh starting IV. He's been struggling in the scrum for the Ospreys, and that's not good enough for international level. I also don't think moving Gethin to 3 is the right thing to do, not from the start. He's one of the best loosheads in the game, let him show that by picking him in his position. There's the likes of Eifion-Lewis Roberts and even Deacon Manu at the Scarlets, who should be getting their shots on the tighthead. In the second row, maybe JT isn't the wisest option, his scrummaging might not be up to scratch. And with so many options playing so well, it's worth considering other options. However I don't know enough about the scrum to determine if JT is at fault for some of the O's poor scrummaging displays.

    I personally wouldn't pick Shane at scrum half, he's just not good enough there. He can do a job for a 10min spell if there's a yellow card etc. but that's about it. With Peel regaining some form at Sale, he's in pole position if Phillips doesn't recover (maybe even if he does).

    Tom Shanklin isn't playing particulary well this season. Jonathan Thomas on the other hand, is in awesome form. He's a confident lad, give him the chance I say. Finally at 15, I think Daniel Evan's is the most likely. He's playing some phenomenal stuff for the Scarlets, and has 2 caps under his belt. Hook could do a job though, but I'm not sure if he's strong enough under the high ball. Afterall, he's not a natural fullback!

    I still say that Gough is over the hill. Chrteris and the two at the Scarlets are playing some great stuff. They're the future, play them imo.
     
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