Six Nations 2013: Wales team to play Scotland

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Rob Howley has made several changes to his line-up ahead of Wales’ match against Scotland at Murrayfield this Saturday (KO: 14.30 GMT). Here is the team he’s picked:

15. Leigh Halfpenny
14. Alex Cuthbert
13. Jonathan Davies
12. Jamie Roberts
11. George North
10. Dan Biggar
9. Mike Phillips

1. Paul James
2. Richard Hibbard
3. Adam Jones
4. Alun Wyn Jones
5. Ian Evans
6. Ryan Jones (capt)
7. Sam Warburton
8. Toby Faletau

Replacements: Ken Owens, Scott Andrews, Ryan Bevington, Andrew Coombs, Justin Tipuric, Lloyd Williams, James Hook, Scott Williams

What do you make of the team? Will they beat Scotland?

40 thoughts on “Six Nations 2013: Wales team to play Scotland

  1. Tough on Coombs…

    Oh, Warburton starting. Big call given how ineffective he was before the France game.

    This is pretty close to the team Wales would have hoped to have fielded throughout the 6nations, barring Loose Head. I can’t help but think Warburton is in on hope rather than expectation.

    1. think i agree with all that, especially regarding coombs.

      also i have been pretty unimpressed by roberts. i thought hook may get a chance at 12, to add a bit of spark to the midfield (he also used to play quite well with biggar at ospreys) which would allow the big wingers into the game a bit more. roberts has become a bit too one dimensional for me, and people have not only worked him out, but others centres are becoming similar size, so he is struggling to get the same dominance that he used to.

  2. paul james yes,
    alun wyn jones yes,
    sam warburton why?!

    if it works, it works. I admit tipuric wasn’t dominant in paris or rome but he did a good job and deserved a longer run than being replaced by a player with no recent game time/form.

    good to have bevington on the bench tho

  3. Simo have to agree that Roberts, along with the rest of the back 5, have not been that impressive, but I see the problem being Phillips. Biggar is trying to play off a pass that starts 2 yards back from where the ball was delivered. This for me is the biggest difference between England and the rest, at this juncture as Care or Youngs are presenting a pass that the backs are running onto and not taking, at best, standing still. Lloyd Williams needs to start.

    1. I would not blame Phillips for all of it. Biggar is playing as he does for the Os – either first phase or third phase kick, try the odd move only when it’s certain not to go wrong. He can play, we’ve all seen it, but he needs to look up and see what’s going on, move away from the same old same old sometimes.

  4. Not a bad team but sends out a disastrous message – we are no longer a team that bloods youngsters and sticks with new boys who play well, we are now the team that will get the old boys in no matter who they are playing. If they can walk and they played last year then they’re in the team. Bye bye Tips and Coombs, your face just doesn’t fit cos you didn’t go to the world cup. Ridiculous and can only end badly for us and Howley.

      1. Exactly, and we all know how well that turned out. I think Howley is a coach ruled by fear so draws the old experienced boy wagons around himself. Not good.

  5. Not sure that it wasn’t the right call regarding Tipuric as I prefer him off the bench, but Coombs has been one of the finds of the 6N for me. Would have thought that Evans should have made way of the two. Roberts really hasn’t played well this 6N, although by saying this, he will now have a stormer against England!

    1. Roberts could do with a stormer against someone. He has been pedestrian for far too long and knowing his place is nailed on cant be pushing him to improve.

      1. Seems like he is in the same boat as Ashton. Poor performances, people calling for change. But the coach won’t for whatever reason, and so the message come across that it is more important who you are, not how well you play.

        I think his has been a problem the whole time under howley, he has a team with garlands DNA all over it, and the players are not performing, but he won’t choose other players because he is picking on past performances and the potential that they will happen again.

        1. To be fair, the two props and both wings have all got better since the tournament began, so the wait and back the player method has worked for them but certainly not for Roberts. So howley has more hits than misses by using this policy. Just saying….!
          Who’d be a coach!

  6. I think the Welsh want moe oysicality in the backrow so they have gone for the heavier hitting seven.

    As for Roberts, well, he is a class act and still my man for the Lions shirt but their is something wrong with the welsh backline, individually they all look like egreat players but the ball is not reaching the dangerous winger often enough, hook would be an option.

    1. I can’t remember when Roberts was last a class act though? Even in our world cup run he was a bit staid. As a Blues fan I’m delighted he’s leaving us as we must be paying him about 200K per match given he only plays about 160mins all season for us.

      I can’t see Roberts being the Lions centre when there is Tuilagi, JD, Farrel, BOD and others to choose from.

      1. ronbraz – Roberts is far from sure that he will even go with the Lions at the moment, let alone start. Chuck Barritt, Twelvetrees, Marshall, and Hook into the equation, together with the ones Brighty mentioned, and things start not to look so good for Roberts.

        1. Roberts will go with the Lions failing injury I’d put my house on it .I think someone said (Eddie Butler maybe ) that he is a part time rugby player and a part time medic and that only on tour does the full time rugby player come out .Anyway he is perceived as a big tour player and with his medical finals out of the way next week he can be a back up medic in Australia if needed .

          1. Have to say that despite what I said, I think Gatland will take him, out of loyalty. However I’d pick Davies, Barritt, Tuilagi and BOD before him, and then players like Farrell, Flood, Hook and Twelvetrees all offer more versatilty. Depends how many centres are going.

          2. If he gets picked without putting in a big game in either of the next 2 fixtures then it is a poor pick in my opinion. We have enough players in form to not need to pick on reputation.

  7. WHY DO WE STILL HAVE TO PLAY BIGGAR WHEN WE HAVE A MORE EXCITING NUMBER 10 ON THE BENCH –JAMES HOOK

  8. if hook was english he wouldve been playing 13 for england for the last 8 years. i dunno which coachs wife he slotted but i hope it was worth the loss of a potentially great international career. maybe he takes tips of james simpson-daniel…

    1. While I do think Hook can be class and wish he had been given more chances we should be careful about forgetting that he has done some shocking things in a Wales and Ospreys shirt. Most international matches are decided by a margin of less than two scores – Hook can either give you that margin or cost you it, depending on how he’s playing on that day. I’m afraid that 80% good but consistent does give you more than 100% brilliant one day but 40% the next.

      1. how can he become consistent when you have idiots playing him at full back centre outside half and bench
        consistency means pick him at his position and play him regularly

        1. He’s played regularly at 10 for his French club and he had a shocker there when they played the Dragons earlier this season. He did get a half decent run of games at 10 for Wales and had some great games (Twickenham 2005) and some shockers (pick any AI he played in).

          1. Hook for Biggar is the only change needed for wales to beat both scotland and england
            Probably the best three-quarters in the 6 nations agree?

        1. Take the caps lock off please …. consistency doesn’t just mean selecting him at 10 all the time. You could play me at outside half for Wales for the next 100 games and I wouldn’t get any better at it. We can’t afford to give him a run of games in a competition where he could lose us the matches when we have able alternatives who can play 10 and help us win the matches. Selection isn’t just about picking the most skillful players, it’s about picking a winning team.

  9. THE WELSH COACHES ARE AFRAID TO TAKE A CHANCE WITH HOOK AND HAVE MISSED A GREAT PLAYER. SAME THING WITH HENSON WAY BACK

    1. The welsh coaches gave Henson every single chance in the world and would have picked him for every single match – they practically did when he was fit. It was Henson who wazzed his career up a wall, nobody else.

      1. I dont agree. The media also played a massive part in destroying one of the best rugby brains we have seen in years. Coaches could have sorted some of the discipline issues out a lot better as well.

        1. Rubbish. What ruined Gav was that his desire for celebrity over-ruled any sensible decisions he made over his rugby career

          Still, at least he had some performances to back up his desperate need for celebrity, unlike a certain Mr D Cipriani

          PS – “best rugby brain we have seen in years” Really??

    2. How can a bloke with 69 caps not of had a chance? As a 27 year old he’s got a good chance of joining the 100 cap club, but I think it will be his versatility off the bench that gets him there, not his consistent brilliance as a fly half.

  10. However I do think you (Brighty) are absolutely spot on with regards to Roberts. We need the next Henson to emerge from somewhere — cant see it at the moment. Roberts so predictable and not a rugby brain.

  11. Early night tonight — 6:40 flight from heathrow to see possibly the best game so far in 6 nations. A lot riding on this for both teams.
    I think it will be very close — Wales to just edge it W 29 S 20
    ???

  12. I have to agree with Brighty on the need for consistency and that selection is about picking a winning team. We as touch line coaches have a desire to voice our opinion and present what we consider to be valid points as to why certain players should be picked. And yes I would like to see Hook at ten, nowhere else, I would also like to see Lloyd Williams at 9 (I have made enough comments on this not to add them there). However Howley and the rest of the coaching team are with these players day in, day out and are therefore picking a team of players to do a job. Yes we have to wait and see if they can. I also agree with Eltel that this game could be one of the best so far but not with the predicted score line. Wales by 15 points at least.
    S 20ish, W 36+.

    1. Scotland will have taken massive amounts of confidence from their frankly undeserved win vs Ireland. They know they can win ugly if they need to.

      Scrum battle should be good, Wales’ line-out (never great) will be destroyed by Hamilton and Gray. Warburton will be rendered ineffective by a proficient Scots back-row and Hogg will find room to run around the large Welsh centres and wings.

      Scotland to win by 7

  13. I can’t call this one,

    just fancy Wales but scolands line speed and first up tackling has been impressive of late so they will be tough to crack. The scotish backrow gave ireland a lot of ball but little of it was clean and fast, they are running the imit with the ref, but that is a compliment.

    If Wales kick badly they could be in trouble the Scotish three are not shy in counter attacking, Scotland haven’t kicked well either but the welsh back three seem less enthusiatic to counter.

    Roberts is a great player, I think Wales use him incorrectly, I ould take him with the Lions, inside centre is begining to look a problem position.

    Scrum will be interesting, Wales should edge, lineout scotland should edge.

    I’m going Wales by 6 but really not sure.

  14. After Scotland’s defensive performance against Ireland we might need to think outside the box I can’t see us having problems crossing the gain line but I can see us having problems problems crossing the try line if we play the same tactics all the other nations ate playing within the 5 metre mark the same old pick and go. We need to start playing a style of rugby that no one else is playing in the northern hemisphere, throw the ball about abit don’t just let the ball go through the backs straight to the wingers. Personally I think it’s going to be a very backs associated game an open game, they (the backs) are the most dynamic athlete’s so let them do all the running with ball in hand, our backline are some of the best in the world not to mention they’re built like sh*t brick houses get Roberts on the crash ball more often hit J Davies on the angles they’d break any line of defence. I think the Scots will dominate the lineouts unfortunately with the likes of Richie Gray and Hamilton and Brown, scrumaging well we haven’t been that bad in all fairness but need to to step it up a few gears to take the Scottish pack on. As long as we do the basic things right in the breakdown, clearing out the rucks and securing the ball there’s not much the boys in navy can do. I take my hat off to Biggar I didn’t really rate him as a player before this six nations but he’s stepped up to the mark he had a slow start to our campaign but seems to be getting more confident as our campaign progresses I just hope he manages to find the touch and corners, I’d like to see J Tovey in the squad though Preistland can’t handle the pressure of being in that sort of limelight. With AWJ back there might be some order in the front 8. Captaincy??? Warburton is a world class player and a good captain but it’s consistency he lacks he doesn’t seem to be able to give 110% week in week out at regional and international level, R Jones on the other hand has alot more experience and game time that Sam has and the squad seem to listen to what Ryan says let Warburton find his form again like we seen in 2012 six nations then think about possibly giving him the captaincy because Ryan’s not getting any younger and there’s not much choice of anyone else to take the role. If we dominate in the kicking department and keep Scotland on the back foot I couldn’t see them winning, they only have Hogg, Visser and Lamont capable of breaking the line of defence close them down and they’ll grow frustrated.

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