Criticism of Wales’ World Cup warm-up schedule is fair, says Gatland

Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland will leave his post as Wales head coach after the 2019 World Cup
World Cup warm-up: England v Wales
Location: Twickenham Date: Sunday, 11 August Kick-off: 14: 00 BST
Protection: Survive On BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC 5 Live Extra & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary

Head coach Warren Gatland states it is “fair” to criticise Wales’ choice to play four World Cup warm-up matches.

Famous full-back JPR Williams and fly-half James Hook are among those who have actually voiced concerns that players might suffer injuries prior to the competition.

Wales face England at Twickenham on Sunday and in Cardiff on Saturday, 17 August, prior to playing Ireland house and away on 31 August and 7 September.

” I understand the criticism. That’s necessitated,” said Gatland.

” It’s a little bit of a concern that you don’t choose up too lots of injuries, however sometimes you have actually simply got to chance and choose it.

” The criticism is reasonable. You can’t get it right all the time. You are attempting to negotiate warm-up video games with sides and attempting to get the balance right.

” 4 years ago we were supposed to play England home and away, which got cancelled since we ended up in the same [World Cup] pool.

” I believe the England video games are constantly an excellent contest for us. You may have wanted three [games], or potentially not quite so strong opposition.

” However you go into negotiations, and often you have got to accept what has actually been provided.

” For us, I think the fact we are in such an excellent location, mentally and the depth we have actually created in the team, we can share some self-confidence and perhaps not get a lot of injuries.”

Wales have actually fallen nasty of warm-up matches in the past, losing scrum-half Rhys Webb and full-back Leigh Halfpenny to tournament-ending injuries in their last component prior to the 2015 World Cup.

Gatland has actually named a strong team for Sunday’s match against England at Twickenham, starting with 13 of the 15 gamers who assisted Wales clinch the 6 Countries Grand Slam with success over Ireland in March.

With a variety of players nursing knocks or returning from longer-term injuries, Gatland has actually said Wales will have to “be smart about players we expose” over the course of the next 4 matches.

England meanwhile have actually called a more experimental line-up, with first global starts for scrum-half Willi Heinz and Bath wing Ruaridh McConnochie.

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Gatland and England equivalent Eddie Jones did not discuss their selections ahead of time, however the Wales coach verified he and Ireland manager Joe Schmidt have actually talked about the topic.

” No there hasn’t been any discuss that [with Jones],” Gatland stated.

” I’ve spoken with Joe Schmidt about the 2 video games we have fun with each other so we’re type of on the same page about what we’re going to make with the Irish games.

” The [Wales] coaches are catching up with Eddie over dinner tonight [Friday] so I make certain there will be a bit of banter and chat.

” We have not discussed the games. It will be fascinating to see how the chat goes over supper.”

Wales: Liam Williams (Saracens) (55 Caps); George North (Ospreys) (83 Caps), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (73 Caps), Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (15 Caps), Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues) (10 Caps); Gareth Anscombe (Ospreys) (26 Caps), Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (41 Caps); Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (28 Caps), Ken Owens (Scarlets) (64 Caps), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (40 Caps), Adam Beard (Ospreys) (13 Caps), Alun Wyn Jones (Capt, Ospreys) (125 Caps), Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (8 Caps), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (64 Caps), Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (31 Caps).

Replacements: Elliot Dee (Dragons) (18 Caps), Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (12 Caps), Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) (12 Caps), Jake Ball (Scarlets) (32 Caps), Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (17 Caps), Tomos Williams (Cardiff Blues) (7 Caps), Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints) (70 Caps), Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (13 Caps).

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