Wales team to play Scotland announced

wruWarren Gatland has made six changes to the Wales team that lost to England for the visit of Scotland to the Millennium Stadium this weekend.

Liam Williams starts in his preferred position of fullback following the news of Leigh Halfpenny’s injury, while it’s all change at half-back as Dan Biggar and Mike Phillips come in for Rhys Priestland and Rhys Webb respectively.

In the pack, Rhodri Jones gets the nod at tighthead with Adam Jones dropping to the bench, while Ken Owens also gets his first start of the Championship at hooker in place of Richard Hibbard. Luke Charteris is restored to the engine room for Jake Ball.

On the bench there is a recall for James Hook, while Rhodri Williams is preferred to Rhys Webb, who drops out of the squad altogether.

Wales team to play Scotland:
Liam Williams (Scarlets), Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Jamie Roberts (Racing Metro), George North (Northampton Saints), Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Mike Phillips (Racing Metro), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Rhodri Jones (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Perpignan), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Dan Lydiate (Racing Metro), Sam Warburton (CAPT – Cardiff Blues), Taulupe Faletau (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: Richard Hibbard (Ospreys), Paul James (Bath Rugby), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Jake Ball (Scarlets), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Rhodri Williams (Scarlets), Rhys Priestland (Scarlets), James Hook (Perpignan).

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

15 thoughts on “Wales team to play Scotland announced

  1. Wow. Priestland still makes the bench! Thought Ball acquitted himself well. Adam Jones must be scratching his head as to why he is dropped. Why not use Hook as 10 cover and give another back a chance from the bench? Wales really need to increase depth IMO.

    Still, at home, roof closed, playing Scotland. 50 point drubbing?

  2. So the solution to preventing Jenkins from being singled out is to give penalties away on both sides of the scrum, interesting decision!

  3. Surprised that Jenkins is retained. The cynic in me wonders whether he is retained in order to reinforce the view that he was unfairly treated by Poite. If he were to be demoted, it rather suggests agreement with Poite doesn’t it?

    Very surprised that he sees Charteris as better than Ball.

    Agree with Benjit about using Hook as 10 cover and bringing another back 3 player in.

  4. 50 point drubbing Benjit ? I assume that was tongue in cheek ? after the way Wales have performed I would be happy with just a win tbh !.

    Surprised that Paul James isn’t starting, but when you look at it that is a strong front 3 to come on after 60 mins or so, Ball unlucky to be dropped, he was one of the very few performed half well against England.

    Wales to win by single figures my prediction.

  5. A fairly well expected side. Gatland rarely goes for massive changes so he’s ensuring Adam’s highly rated replacement gets a start. Interesting to see Rhys Webb dropped completely. I have not heard he was injured though I am excited to see the Scarlets scrum half come on.

    If we need to play differently I don’t see wholesale personnel changes as being the way to achieve that – some tinkering, as he has done, some youngsters sprinkled in on the bench/starting. Our next game is away to SA, this is a home game, a decent win is demanded, though none of us are discounting Scotland. Now whether he gives them some licence to run it a bit more is anyone’s guess. I hope he does.

    As for the rest – backrow done nothing to not deserve their place. JD needs more game time so good decision.

    Jenks/Priestland – agree with Blub that dropping Jenks would have looked like he agreed with Poite. Regardless of whether Poite was right the manager can do one of two things – arm around shoulder or clip round the ear and he has chosen the former. It’s also Gethin’s record breaking cap. Overall I think it’s good man management to give him a chance to get back on the horse. Priestland is a bit similar in that he needs an arm around him and also we’re really struggling for 10 depth – Patchell, capped last year, is still a long term injury. Tovey had a mare of a season last year and isn’t having a great one this year. Owen Williams barely gets a look in at Leics.

    1. Williams is getting a fair bit of play with Leicester. Flood had a short injury spell and Lamb was a prat so Williams got a bit of play and the last few games he’s been picked over Flood and he’s playing well. Agreed though, it’s not enough to put him on the field for Wales.

      I’m not sure I’d recommend going with Mike Phillips personally. His confrontations with players and officials in the 6N so far have seen him in hot water with Wales and I think putting him straight in like this just sends the message that he’s indispensable. I also think he’s a fraction of the player he used to be and other options should be tried out, especially in a 6N that has already gone for Wales.

      Last news I saw on Webb is that Wales were waiting on fitness confirmation so I can only assume he’s injured. The way he came off against England suggested to me he wouldn’t be playing this week though.

  6. Just learned that Halfpenny has been ruled out of the SA tour, may be a blessing in disguise & give him a well deserved rest, able to recharge the batteries for the WC next year. Would like to see Lee Byrne maybe go on the SA tour as I cannot see Williams as a class replacement at full back…..

  7. Jenkins was yellow carded in consecutive two matches and is unfit andclearly struggling as are so many of WG’s favourites. Still gogt him picked for the Lions didn’t it?

    As soon as Wales had a full pack with Paul James a penalty was won at the next scrum England.

    Given that my mates and I could see the yellow card coming b4 the scrum even set why on earth did Gatland not send on Paul James. Gatland was still defending Jenks after the game and in the papers and all the coaches have done so all week.

    Jenks should never had had motm v France in a million years. Should never have been on the field unless Paul James was injured.

    But this is WG and once you are in that is it, you are in even if you have broken both legs and you get picked.

    JD in again-rubbish last week- dropped the ball when grubbering.

    P=ssland in the squad-my God-what does he have to do to get dropped -run over Gatland’s dog?

    Guaranteed places+ so-called ‘stars’ not performing + total complacency from players and coaches. Wales have gone backwards at the speed of Usain Bolt since March 2013.

    SA= loss AUS=loss for the 36th time on the run Ire=loss Eng=loss Italy-jittery win .

    France must be kicking themselves they are not going for a GS

    2014 = Mid table or worse as in 2009 2010 2011.

    Going for third title my arse!

    SA tour to be a disaster as in 1998 and out at pool stage in RWC 2015.

    Scotland should have gone with Grant-Ford-Murray and could still do that- it will kill Jenks and without Halfpenny points will be at a premium.

    Gats given the hairdryer treatment to the squad-don’t believe it-it is all far far too chummy and even 100 points v Scotland will not make up for Dublin and Twickenham this year.

    Gatland’s laughing all the way to the bank if he’s there til 2019 or not.

  8. Warren has developed tunnel vision. Biggar helped us win the championship last year and his reward was he gets dropped. Priestland is one dimensional, he has no vision not even the tunnel variety. There has been too much method & indoctrination into the backs. They need to be left to construct their own strategies. Be free and inventive, the famous and successful ‘Welsh-way’

    1. Couldn’t agree more Duncan y Ddraig.

      Biggar was the only person in the Welsh 15 from the Eng game who did not get on the plane to Oz. He made a mistake in 6n in 2013 and that against Ire when the team was falling apart around him.

      Gats just loves p=ssland, my colleagues assume this is because p+ssland has a photo of Gats in compromising situation with a 4 legged animal but who knows?

  9. Priestland is out because Halfpenny is out. Biggar is the better kicker.

    I get backing your man in Jenkins, but by dropping Jones and Hibbard you’re basically saying that the problem was them instead, which is poor man management in my mind. Jones didn’t do anything different to usual, and Hibbard was unable to get going due to the defence. And as for the throw on the Welsh 22, I’d be wanting to know who called a long lineout in that position.

    What does JD2 need more game time for??? There’s no more matches after this, let him get his game time for his club, and play someone match fit and ready.

  10. Paul James has looked good so far in his gametime, so I think he’s unlucky, but with the record breaking appearance and the yellow card it was always going to be stick there. Has Hibbard been dropped? If so, harsh call.

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