Six Nations 2013: Howley names Wales team to play Italy

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Rob Howley has decided to keep the faith with the men who beat France, and has named an unchanged lineup to face Italy in a week and a half’s time. The game, at the Stadio Olimpico, kicks off at 14.30 GMT on Saturday 23rd February.

Howley said: “On the back of the performance at the weekend, we have decided to reward the players who took to the field and the same XV who started in Paris will start against Italy.”

“It’s a reward for their performance. We talked about attitude, determination and resilience and a side that comes up with a win out in France, which is not an easy place to win on any occasion, deserves to start the next match.

“Obviously we are mindful that the XV selected is dependent on injuries, with some players playing before next week, but if everyone comes through it will be the same XV.

“I thought Ryan (Jones) was outstanding in terms of his leadership and he will captain the side against Italy. Sam (Warburton) is still feeling the stinger to some extent but it has improved but I just want to clarify that the team comes first and the way the team played, they deserve to start again.”

The full 23-man squad which will face Italy will be announced next Tuesday, 19 February.

WALES: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North; Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips; Gethin Jenkins, Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Andrew Coombs, Ian Evans, Ryan Jones (CAPT), Justin Tipuric, Toby Faletau.

What do you make of his decision to announce the team so early?

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7 comments on “Six Nations 2013: Howley names Wales team to play Italy

  1. Seems a bit daft to announce the team and say now “if everyone comes through it will be the same XV”. Howley will look really silly, if five players get injured at the weekend. It just seems pointless to me.

    • Dazza, the press release came with an NB saying ‘An update will follow regarding the release of players back to their regions and clubs’.

      What is the form with Wales players being released back to their clubs in between 6N matches? Is it as in England, as in the ones to start will stay in camp?

      • Completely at the discretion of the welsh management team – they’ve been known to keep players away from league games “just in case” so you can’t be sure that everyone not released will be in the squad.

        • 15 players have been released back to their clubs. Most of them non-starters, but interestingly all the French based players have gone back. Maybe the deal for keeping players in camp doesn’t stretch across the pond?

          • The “release deal ” is between the WRU and Welsh regions.So any one playing out of Wales is not included unless their club plays ball or the player has a duplicate release clause in their contract . Becoming far more of a problem with the French flight.

            Selecting the team early is ok if only to shut the Western Mail up about the Tipuric/Warburton issue.

  2. Mike Philips is strong but Italy will kill him they know he plays near the scrum and his slow pass to the outside half will be suicide when will he ever learn that Italy hunt you down fast to stop you getting a movement going. The one thing they thrieve on is not giving you time to get a movement going. And Philips gives them that, in spades. You need someone with a long pass straight away from the scum like Edwards did. The link man for this match will be the scrum half.

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