Wales

Published on: August 26, 2015

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 Team Preview – Wales

wales

World Ranking: 5

Odds of Winning: 18/1

Road to Qualification: Qualified through position in RWC 2011.

Recent Results:

Wales 21 – Ireland 35

Wales 61 – Italy 20

Wales 23 – Ireland 16

World Cup Pool Games:

Date Time Team v Team Stadium
Sunday, 20 September 15 14:30 Wales v Uruguay Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 26 September 15 20:00 Wales v England Twickenham
Thursday, 1 October 15 16:45 Wales v Fiji Millennium Stadium
Saturday, 10 October 15 16:45 Wales v Australia Twickenham

Strengths:

  • World Class first XV
  • Dead-eye kickers
  • Powerful carriers

Weaknesses:

  • Not a lot of depth beyond the 23
  • Reliance on “Warrenball”
  • Poor record against SH teams

Key Players:

  • Leigh Halfpenny – Generally considered to be one of the best goal kickers in the world right now, this ex-winger also has a lot of pace and tackles like his life depends on it. Editor – now ruled out because of injury 🙁

Credit to TheRugbyPackHD

  • Sam Warburton – This openside flanker has been captain of Wales since 2011 and led Wales to a World Cup semi final last time around. Aside from being a good leader, he is lethal at the breakdown and poaches balls like Gordon Ramsey poaches eggs.

(actual highlights here)

  • George North – A winger that’s built like a mountain – but notably faster – George North burst into the world of international Rugby by scoring two tries against South Africa on his dayboo at the age of just 18. Now he’s living the high life in Northampton and will be looking to get back into top form after a string of concussions ended his season on a low note.

Credit to Buttontheplay

Squad:

Front Row:

Scott Baldwin (Hooker) 

Kristian Dacey (Hooker)

Ken Owens (Hooker)

Scott Andrews (Prop)

Rob Evans (Prop)

Tomas Francis (Prop)

Paul James (Prop)

Aaron Jarvis (Prop)

Gethin Jenkins (Prop)

Rhodri Jones (Prop)

Samson Lee (Prop)

Locks:

Jake Ball

Luke Charteris

Dominic Day

Bradley Davies

Alun Wyn Jones

Backrow

James King (Flanker)

Dan Lydiate (Flanker)

Ross Moriarty (Flanker)

Justin Tipuric (Flanker)

Sam Warburton (Flanker) (Captain)

Taulupe Faletau (No 8)

Backs

Scrumhalf

Gareth Davies

Rhys Webb – injured – replaced by Mike Phillips

Lloyd Williams

Flyhalf

Gareth Anscombe

Dan Biggar

Matthew Morgan

Rhys Priestland

Centre

Cory Allen

Tyler Morgan

Jamie Roberts

Scott Williams

Back 3

Hallam Amos (Wing)

Alex Cuthbert (Wing)

George North (Wing)

Eli Walker (Wing) – injured – replaced by Ross Moriaty

Leigh Halfpenny (Fullback)- injured – replaced by Eli Walker

Liam Williams (Fullback) 

Summary:

Wales have had very mixed fortunes when it comes to the World Cup. They placed third in the first tournament in 1987, but didn’t really shine again until 2011 (a trend all too familiar to our Kiwi cousins, I would think). The 2011 tournament was a bit of a surprise for most Welsh people. Out of nowhere this young team led by an inexperienced captain managed to bash their way into the semi finals, only to lose by the smallest margin against France.

Fast forward four years and the Wales team find themselves in an odd position. They have an exciting squad that is capable of fantastic flowing rugby, a coach that can win the big games and fitness levels that rival the top teams in the world. Yet they find themselves likely to be knocked out quicker you can say “Quarter Final” due to being placed in the hilariously named Pool of Death. No it’s not the Ponty lido, Wales have found themselves alongside England and Australia, meaning that it wouldn’t be too much of a shock to see them come home early this year.

Is it fair? That’s a discussion for another day, but it’s certainly something to think about as we approach the start of the tournament.

If there’s one thing that’s certain about Welsh Rugby this time around, it’s that the Millennium Stadium roof will be shut. End of. Be quiet.

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