Six Nations Key Clash Preview: Wales v Scotland


Wales and Scotland will be playing for little more than pride in Saturday’s Six Nations showdown in Cardiff. Neither side is still in contention for the title, but the significance of this Celtic clash will not be lost on these home nations.

Scotland will have to win by a massive margin to leapfrog the Welsh, but they will be far more concerned with the result than their place in the table at this point. Wales know that their hopes of an unprecedented third-successive title were crushed in Twickenham but they will be desperate to finish strongly in their own back yard.


Warren Gatland has made six changes to the side that were outdone by England. Scarlets pair Ken Owens and Rhodri Jones will start in the front row as British and Irish Lions Richard Hibbard and Adam Jones drop to the bench. Owens has recently thrived in his role as Hibbard’s replacement and the hooker deserves his starting spot.

Gethin Jenkins retains his place in the starting line up despite having been sin binned for scrummaging offences in his last two Test matches, and becomes Wales’ most capped international when he wins his 105th cap. Luke Charteris returns to the starting line up after recovering from a neck injury, replacing Jake Ball, despite his vigorous display at Twickenham last weekend.

Gatland has also opted to change his half-back partnership. Mike Phillips returns to replace Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar comes in for Rhys Priestland. Phillips will be fighting to reinstate his claim on the number nine jersey, after Webb looked promising against France and England. The Osprey scrum half will miss Wales Six Nations finale with an ankle injury, that he picked up in last week’s defeat.

The introduction of Biggar will ensure Wales manoeuvre better with ball in hand after Priestland kicked most of Wales’ possession away and fumbled the rest of it at Twickenham. Biggar will also assume the kicking duties and he will be well aware that he has some big kicking boots to fill.

Liam Williams starts at full back in the absence of the injured Leigh Halfpenny with the familiar pairings of George North and Alex Cuthbert on the wings and Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies in the centres.


Scotland’s spirited second-half fight back enabled them to put away the Italians in Rome. Seven days later, they looked infused with confidence against France, but they fell away in the second half and now we will see if the disappointment of a last-gasp defeat will invigorate or decimate this inconsistent Scotland side.

Scott Johnson has made three changes ahead of his final game in charge of Scotland. Dougie Fife makes his debut on the wing, replacing Tommy Seymour, while Max Evans is set to start on the other wing in the absence of the injured Sean Lamont. Ryan Wilson has been restored to the back row in place of Johnnie Beattie, who is also injured. Dave Denton and Kelly Brown complete the back row.

The Scottish front row will fancy their chances against the Welsh scrum. Ken Owens and Rhodri Jones should bolster the Welsh set piece but after strong performances against the power of the French pack, Geoff Cross and Ryan Grant have proved they are more than capable of disrupting a scrum.

Scotland have been playing some fluid running rugby in recent weeks, but Duncan Weir will have to keep the ball alive and kick well to take the steam out of the Welsh pack.

All eyes on

Gethin Jenkins will make history on Saturday when he wins his 105th international cap, but he’ll be hoping the occasion will not be remembered for another scrummaging disaster. Geoff Cross will look to pick up where Dave Wilson and Thomas Domingo left off, and if Jenkins’ scrummaging issues continue, Wales will again be deprived of the solid set-piece platform that their game plan relies on.

Scottish captain Kelly Brown will have to be on top of his game when he comes up against Warburton and company. He will look to make a mess of the Welsh breakdown and you can rely on him to lead the defensive charge.

Head to head: Taulupe Faletau v David Denton

In this home nations clash we can look forward to the battle between Tongan Taulupe Faletau and Zimbabwean Dave Denton. These two number eights have both proved brutally effective with ball in hand, so expect an extremely physical confrontation. Both get through plenty of work in the loose, too, and are more than handy at the breakdown. Denton, in particular, will help out Kelly Brown in this area, given that his skipper is not in opposite man Warburton’s league when it comes to disrupting ball.


Expect a strong response from this fresh-faced Welsh side. If they can avoid an another aimless kicking display, then they have got enough class to overcome Scotland. Wales by 10.

By Nathan Hyde (@NathanHyde2)

20 thoughts on “Six Nations Key Clash Preview: Wales v Scotland

  1. Well now that we’ve replaced the Welsh born Rhys Priestland with the welsh born Dan Biggar, we should have a bit more control at OH.

    Welsh born Gethin Jenkins has been given another opportunity which is fine. Contrary to what the article suggests French born Domingo wasn’t up against him, it was French born Mas, and French born Mas was yellow carded along with Welsh born Jenkins, so Scottish born Geoff Cross will be trying to emulate the English born Wilson.

    Tedious isn’t it….

    1. Only tedious when there is no discrepency between country of birth and country of representation.

      Interestingly, had Tommy Seymour been fit, then all 4 wingers would have been born outside of their respective countries.

    2. It’s not tedious, it’s just interesting. There’s no condemnation of Wales/Scotland for picking these players, it’s just intriguing that they’re playing against each other in the same position. Every team does it these days, it’s part of the game and the rules, so why not?

      1. Think you’ve misunderstood me. I have no issues with players representing nations they were not born in (well the non mercenary types).

        What I fail to see is the relevance of including it in the article for these two individuals? There was another one earlier in the week which mentioned “the English born Jake Ball” So what? What difference does it make? Why does it even need to be mentioned?

        I don’t want to come over all “out of my pram” about it as I’m not, it’s more of a mild annoyance, but it does make me roll my eyes when it’s mentioned as it’s of no relevance to the article, or indeed the match up between these two individuals.

      2. Zimbabwean-Graham Price was born in Egypt I suppose that pervented him from paying for Wales…very Egyptian name that..Price

        Ian Evans born in S AFRICA to Wels parents and schooled in the Cynon Valley in the heartland of South Wales- Evans-very S African name that very Afrikaans-almost as non-British as Mauritz Botha.

        Paul Thorburn-born to serviceman in West Germany-should have played for Rheinland Westphalia I suppose?

        Think who you are singing to tomorrow-God the save theGerman Trout-Mrs Saxe-Coburg-Gothenburg who opens her Xma presents on Xmas Eve -as they do in Germany!!!

        Where as Denton going to play/go?

        How many white people still live in Rhodesia after being driven from their farms and homes that lunatic Mugabe?

        Bread basket of Africa to one-party basket -case..

        He’s a damn sight more right to play for Scottish than the Foreign Legion who claim to be English and England have picked from post 2003!!

        Learn the facts before you say such nonsense

    3. Also don’t think it’s tedious. Yes there might be a bit of gentle ribbing when England play England (sorry, Wales), but it wasn’t so long ago that we were being labelled South Africa B. I’ve said on another thread that it is just part of the game now as Jamie said. Don’t forget that us English supporters would be more than happy to have Warburton, North and Cuthbert playing for us so we’re just jealous!

  2. North speaks Welsh as he grew up in Gwynedd. JD2 is a fluent Welsh-speaker. Trt watching them on s4c’s rugby programmes.

    Warburton attended Whitchurch Comp in Cardiff and even Faletau attended Trevethin Comprehensive in Blaenau Gwent.

    Any England fan going on about other nations and who they select is

    ‘the pot calling the kettle…….’.

    It would take an age to list non_English born players who have worn the white shirt going as far back as an exiled Russian prince.

    1. Obviously I wouldn’t want to suggest that the more you bite……………………….!

      Can’t think of any of the top countries that don’t have players with links/passports from other countries in their teams. Personally I’m very grateful to Messrs Vunipola B, Vunipola M, Tuilagi, Burrell, Morgan, Hartley, etc, etc that they decided to play for England when I think that all of them could have represented other countries. Just be grateful that your players chose Wales.

      1. Staggy don’t forget

        Henry Paul, Matt Stevens, Tom Waldrom, Brad Barritt,, Ricky Fluety, Shontayne Hape, Erinle Ayoola, Alex Corbs, Brad Barritt, Fat ‘Cokehead’ Stevens, Mauritz Botha, Marland Yarde, Delon Armitage, Steffan Armitage, Hendre Fourie, David Paice

        Ugochukwu Chiedozie Monye – is he a morris dancer by any chance?

        All part of England’s pick and then drop campaign like a hot stone when it doe notbrin immediate success.

        I thought playing England meant England not England and the entire Commonwealth

        Typical England really- fell apart after 2003 and so just picked anyone from anywhere and at anytime in a desperate search for success.

        Perhaps O2 should be replaced as RFU shirt sponsors by Martini

          1. Try addressing the issues raised-the players you claim are English were brought in Wales, speak Welsh and have Welsh parents.

            England picked Maoris and anyone who could not be and AB or a Bok coz they were not good enough.

            I suppose LLoyd George, Dafydd Wigley and Saunders Lewis are English too?

            Google their names and see who they were-you might learn something, there again facts and evidence are things you cannot deal with-Enlgand pick foreign mercenaries Wales pick players with Welsh parents or who grew up in Wales

            Where in Enlgand do those posted by me earlier grow up/go to school/parentage?

            Nowhere they just took the money on offer from the ever so wealthy English rugby clubs and played cox they could not make it in their own team. Then got dropped for another foreign mercenary who was himself replaced after failing to offer instant sucess like the winger England picked in the 2008 6n whose name escapes me as you have picked Sooo

            1. Wales are just as guilty as England with regards to picking players based on residency…in some cases without it.

            2. If they are also eligible for England they are as English as the are Welsh in the eyes of the IRB. How they identify themselves and who they chose to play for is their business.

              Well done to Gatland for tactically capping them early, England missed a trick! Thankfully we learnt the lesson and got our hands on Morgan (English but pursed by Wales as was about to qualify on residency ground only). All sides play the same game.

              Eligible is eligible, the likes of Mo Botha or Brad Barritt may not be my favourite players ever, but they’ve given more to the shirt than many English born and raised. That’s good enough for me. I don’t care how they got the shirt, just what they do in it.

              If this don’t work out in Rome at least I get another chance against Scotland.

        1. You’re seriously counting Corbs, the Armitage brothers and Yarde as foreign. All British citizens no matter they’re heritage. England’s heritage is one of immigration and integration. Whilst picks such as Perry Freshwater and Flutey go against the spirit of this (which many of us were not happy about) i’d rather we not go down the xenophobic/ UKIP route and stigmatise someone as “not english” because they have a funny sounding name or heaven forbid an exotic accent.

    2. Why does it matter? The players were eligible to play for more than one country some have chosen Wales, some haven’t.

      Is it just more difficult to love your team when it’s got so many English in it ;)

      I don’t care who a player chooses to represent, whether they are eligible through genealogy or residency doesn’t matter. I would prefer to ditch the grandparent rule and push residency up to 5 years, but can’t complain about anyone eligible to play for a country choosing to do so.

      I do have a bit of an issue with the tactical capping of dual eligible internationals at U21 level and then preventing them from having an international career at all at senior level even if they are surplus to your own requirements.

  3. Er ….. Can we get back to the subject matter i.e. the Wales/Scotland match ?? why does this totally irrelevant subject always raise it’s ugly head ?.

    Any English born players who choose to play for Wales are only showing common sense after all !!.

  4. Sunny day in Cardiff so why is the roof closed other than to give Wales an advantage? Clueless from Johnson but I really feel the roof should only be closed due to weather?

  5. No report no comment

    Did someone win by 48 points?

    Did someone win by a by massive margin?

    Yet silence from the article writers here?

    What about Ireland and France?

    How can I find out who won the 6n 2014?

    Its ok I’ll try the a google search as this blog seems stuck on Saturday at 2:30pm in Rome.

    Events in Cardiff and Paris did not matter.

    Oh I know what happpened, Wales won by a massive margin using Warrenball and Ireland are crowned championswinning in Paris for only the 2nd time in 40 years

    Clearly nothing to report to any rugby fans, no news of note and the silence is deafening from some quarters.

    1. Well events in Cardiff didn’t really matter as neither had a chance of winning the championship.

      Not sure why there are no match reports but am sure it is not some English conspiracy as many of the contributors are of celtic origin or allegiance. Perhaps they are either still drunk or very hungover.

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