Wales to stage first trial match for 14 years

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Wales will hold the first trial match in 14 years later this month with a Probables versus Possibles encounter at the Liberty Stadium on Friday May 30.

The old-school style trial will give those looking to impress the management a chance to showcase their skills and win a spot on the plane to South Africa for Wales’ tour there this June.

Wales assistant coaches Robin McBryde and Rob Howley, who both played in the last Wales trial in 2000 at St Helens, will coach the Possibles and Probables respectively and will announce their squads on Tuesday.

The squads will prepare for the game separately, and Howley will be joined by Shaun Edwards and Danny Wilson, the Scarlets’ forwards coach, in coaching the Probables. McBryde will work with Neil Jenkins and the Blues’ Dale MacIntosh with the Possibles.

Warren Gatland will then name his touring squad at the post-match press conference.

“It’s great that we are able to resurrect the famous Wales trial,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity for the players but its also important for us in our short term as well as long term preparation.

“The trial will enable us to work with the extended squad and see those players in our environment as preparations ramp up for next year’s World Cup. It’s a chance for players to experience the set-up and round off a week’s training with us in a meaningful match and hopefully put their hand up for this summer’s tour.

“We will be announcing the squad to travel to South Africa after the game so it’s a great opportunity for players to book their seat on the plane. The tour itself is going to be extremely tough and the game will be important in ensuring we don’t head into it cold.

“The majority of the squad would not have played for four or five weeks and we need to hit the ground running. The Springboks are immersed in Super Rugby right up to the tour and then have a game against a World XV the week before the first test so they certainly won’t be under cooked.”

Tickets will be £5 for adults and £1 for under 16s, and go on sale on Tuesday May 13. Any profit from the game, together with a modest donation, will be provided to the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust.

10 thoughts on “Wales to stage first trial match for 14 years

  1. If Gatland is announcing his touring squad immediately after the game, then I doubt the game will actually make a lot of difference at all. He surely has his list 85 to 90% set already, and this will only really decide which of the back-up covers in a couple of positions will be. This smacks more of a nice bit of spin on a game that’s being added to try and get a bit more money in for the “oh so cash strapped” WRU (*cough* sitting on £11M *cough*). they obviously thought this would be a better draw than the offer from the Baa-Baas that they turned down…

    1. Being a touch unfair there: “Any profit from the game, together with a modest donation, will be provided to the Welsh Rugby Charitable Trust”

      Agree on it not making much difference to Gatland’s selection though.

      1. Agree about the money aspect Jamie but disagree with you that “it will not make much difference”. I have sat in on the selection process following final trials for a great many County squads and my experience is that whilst you are pretty sure in advance of as many as 80% of your players the rest are usually too close to call and how they play in the trials made a huge difference particularly as you usually had the opportunity of seeing them in action against thir closest competitor for the place.

  2. Post match press conference to announce the squad… daft idea. Why not at least pretend to think about what you’ve just for a day or two before announcing! Someone is going to have a great game and not get picked guaranteed!

    However its a good idea to raise some money for charity and keep the players match fit & sharp . With no regions in play offs they had little choice, but call it what it is – a 80 minute full match training session.

  3. Anyone know if it’s gonna be televised? Sounds a fun watch. Let’s hope they don’t all get injured.

  4. I suspect that the game will go some way to determining the teams for the Tour, if not necessarily the squad.

    Although, as Roy notes above, it may be useful to nail down some of the back up players; 3rd SH, 3rd Hooker etc

    I don’t know in depth the Wales fringe players, but with an England hat on, it would be useful to clarify many of the positions up for grabs there.

    Hooker (given that England will possibly be missing their regular top 3), TH, Back-row back up etc, etc

  5. I think England should do this. As much to see how some of the possibles get on as much as anything. Shame Lancaster couldn’t do this before he selects his touring party. He has a whole host of possibles. Problem is half of them still wouldn’t be able to play in the first test!!

  6. The 46 biggest guys in Wales smashing into each other will be perfect prep for SA regardless of who goes.

  7. Another shameless money-spinner from Roger Lewis ho hummm .

    Still at least Priestland’s injured so we can be thankful for small mercies.

    1. Much as Roger (the dodger) Lewis is not my cup of tea the prices and the fact it’s for charity mean this is not in the same category as the perennial 4th Autumn Intrernational.Basically it’s a bit of a more formal open door training session . Even if 90% of the tour places are already pencilled in it still means a few places are up for grabs should be enough motivation for the possible lads .Nowhere near enough preparation for meeting the Boks of course .

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