RWC warm-ups: Wales team to face England at Twickenham

Warren Gatland has named the following team to play England at Twickenham this weekend, in the first of their Rugby World Cup warm-up matches.

15. Rhys Priestland
14. George North
13. Jonathan Davies
12. Jamie Roberts
11. Shane Williams
10. Stephen Jones
9. Michael Phillips

8. Toby Faletau
7. Sam Warburton (c)
6. Dan Lydiate
5. Alun Wyn Jones
4. Bradley Davies
3. Craig Mitchell
2. Huw Bennett
1. Paul James

Lloyd Burns, Ryan Bevington, Luke Charteris, Ryan Jones, Tavis Knoyle, Scott Williams, Morgan Stoddart

8 thoughts on “RWC warm-ups: Wales team to face England at Twickenham

  1. Surprised not to see Henson here…why keep him around if you aren’t going to give him a chance? Or maybe he’s already on the plane?

    Adam Jones, Gethin Jenkins and James Hook are carrying injuries apparently, but I wouldn’t have expected a first choice team to turn up at Twickers anyway.

  2. According to Gatland, this is his best available side

    “Henson is replaced in the side by Jamie Roberts, with Wales coach Warren Gatland admitting he has opted for his strongest available line-up.

    “These are the men in possession of the jersey at the moment and it is now up to them to hold on to it and they will only do that with a performance at Twickenham at the weekend,” he said.”

    It’ll be interesting to see how they go against what is a rather experimental England side

  3. As a Welshman living in England for the last forty years I have a very contentious view to put forward. Wales and England have both got talented players. Wales however will struggle to get more than the odd win over England due to the education system. England have a large number of public schools turning out ‘hard as nails’ 18 year old’s that have received coaching from the highest standard of coaches since they were juniors. Rugby training, in season, is every day. The standard of opposition week on week is extremely high and the motivation to win is based on years, (century’s) of school competitions. The Welsh lads however do not, in the main, play rugby every day at school. They don’t get quality coaching except at a Rugby club on a Sunday. To reinforce my point take a look at the Junior World Cup result against New Zealand. Welsh players need to get tougher minds as well as bodies. Not something the comprehensive system of non-competitive sports understands.

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  4. Good point by Chris. You only have to look at the difference in size of the Celtic nations Under 20s and England and France to see the different levels of maturity and the gap between the Tri Nations and us is more stark again. Definitely the education system contributes to this development and that is very noticeable in here in Ireland where there is a difference in the maturity of players physically coming out of school in the different provinces. Traditionally Ulster and Leinster have had players coming out of school who are ready for adult rugby while Munster and Connacht players have had to be introduced to the adult envoirment on a more gradual basis as they caught up with there Northern and Eastern neighbours in physical terms. This is backed up by the fact that there is usually only two or three players from Munster in the Ireland Under 20 first XV (only one player this year) while the remainder of the team comes from Ulster and Leinster (this year Connacht had two but usually they would struggle to get players into the squad) but when we look at Ireland XV in the SIX NATIONS we see that Munster has nearly half the team thanks to the brilliant work of the academy in bringing these players to the same level as Leinster and Ulster.
    It could be that this gradual develop of our players is holding us back from taking the next step internationally as it takes longer to accumlate the experience that players from the more sucessful nations begin accumalating at 18.
    As for the welsh team I like the look of the centres and wings. Throw in Hook and Byrne alongside a match fit Phillips and you have a backline of real potential
    Still no sign of Martyn Williams deos that mean is retired again. Henson is where he deserves to be making a fool of himself.

  5. Not sure the size difference is noticeable any more. Certainly not at the top level where our physicality is a match for anyones. What we lack is game management, and some decent coaches

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