With the Six Nations Championship fast approaching, Welsh head coach Warren Gatland has sent out a clear message to his squad: it’s time to prove your worth. Gatland, who has returned to lead the national team after his spell with the British and Irish Lions, is known for his no-nonsense approach, and he’s leaving no room for complacency as players vie for their places in the Six Nations squad.
Rugby fans worldwide are called to book Six Nations 2024 tickets from our online platform eticketing.co. Rugby fans can book Wales Six Nations Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland believes his players can set the marker for Six Nations selection in Saturday’s clash against the Barbarians. Gatland is fielding 12 Wales players for the Rugby World Cup in his starting line-up at the Principality Stadium.
But it also leaves out all players based outside Wales, with the star-studded list topped by the likes of Louis Rees-Zammit, Nick Thompkins and Will Rowlands. The uncapped game is a tribute to former Wales forwards Alun Wyn Jones and Justin Tipuric, who retired from Test rugby earlier this year and will play in Barbarians colours.
They will be joined by defender Lee Halfpenny, who will make his last appearance for Wales after recently announcing his decision to withdraw from international play. However, the fixture’s scheduling has been criticized, particularly as the Welsh regions Ospreys, Scarlets, Cardiff and Dragons all host United Rugby Championship matches this weekend.
The Challenge for Regional Players: Making Their Mark in Wales Six Nations Squad
The Scarlets host Cardiff just an hour after the game against Wales ended and although Gatland named a squad of just 23 men to help with the availability of regional players, all four teams have weakened. This is Wales’ last game before their Six Nations opener against Scotland on February 3, and elements of Gatland’s group for the tournament will have a new look.
Dan Biggar ended his Test career after the World Cup, while fellow backs Liam Williams and Gareth Anscombe is set to play in Japan in the first half of next year.
Tom Rogers, Ben Carter, Teddy Williams, Harry O’Connor and Thane Plumtree will be among those looking to impress on Saturday and Gatland said: There is an opportunity without players outside Wales for people to put a marker down in terms of participation in the Six nations.
“I was talking to the players about it earlier this week and I said they want to be in a situation where it’s harder for you to get into the team but easy to get out of. I’ve shown in the past that I have a lot of loyalty to players who come out and put on that jersey and do well.”
And for those players who do, it’s a good opportunity to get into the Six Nations. Now we have kind of drawn a line under the World Championship and are talking about the next cycle and how we can cope with it – about which group of players will make it through.
Sicx Nations – Young Welsh Talent Takes the Stage as Veterans Prepare for Barbarians Clash
We don’t have enough players, but these young Welsh players who are here have a good chance to go out there and see if they can prove themselves. Jones, meanwhile, will captain the Barbarians, who coached by Eddie Jones and Scott Robertson, while Tipuric will play alongside back-row colleagues Michael Hooper and Rob Valetini.
Nine of the starting line-up played at the World Cup, including Valetini, Fiji forward Celestino Ravutahumada, Argentina midfielder Nicolas Sanchez and Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou. But it will a special day for Jones, Tipuric and Halfpenny – who have 352 caps to their name – and that is not lost on Wales captain Jack Morgan.
“Their professionalism and the standard they set as players is a huge inspiration for the young guys and what we look like, Morgan said. Even at the end of their careers they are probably one of the last people on the training pitch who are still trying to get better and improve.”
Six Nations 2024 – Warren Gatland asks for patience as Wales build new generation of players
Warren Gatland has stressed the importance of patience in developing the next generation of Wales internationals. Welsh rugby said goodbye to three of its biggest names – Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and Leigh Halfpenny – in a tribute match that saw Wales beat their Principality Stadium rivals the Barbarians 49-26.
Half-back Dan Biggar retired after the Rugby World Cup, meaning Wales coach Gatland has lost more than 500 caps this year, while scrum-half Reece Webb has also left international rugby. Influential defenders Liam Williams and Gareth Anscombe, meanwhile, will be unavailable for this season’s Six Nations as they begin new club careers in Japan. Six Nations 2024 fans can book Wales Vs Scotland Tickets on our website at exclusively discounted prices.
But new faces have already emerged – players such as captain Jack Morgan, Sam Costelow, Dewey Lake, Dafydd Jenkins and Christ Tshiunza, all of whom have a World Cup in their locker. And there are others who did not force Gatland’s team to move to France, but sooner or later may come knocking on his door.
“We’re really excited about some young people coming in, Gatland said. You have to be patient with them, you will have to endure a little pain.”
You have to be patient with them, you will have to endure a little pain. It is likely that some of the symmetry between the (Welsh) regions and us was not the same. Unfortunately, we probably used the national team almost as a way to develop these players, playing international rugby, almost out of necessity, because we had weaknesses in some positions.
“Then, because they end up playing international rugby and doing well, they come back and go to their regions. Sometimes we make mistakes. It’s just making sure we work together as regions and as a national team in terms of where we have holes and players developing.”
I have long been a supporter of the Legionnaires. I think they are good for the game, especially here in Wales. But I have always said that we need world-class foreign players, and if we need to pay a lot of money for them, then we should do it.
Unfortunately, we tend to hire mid-level journeymen aged 27 or 28 or even older, which tends to stunt the development of some young people. We must do this correctly both for the regions and for us.
“We know the financial situation. We’re all going through some pain as a national system, but now is the time to do this and then think about what the picture might look like in a couple of years’ time?”
Wales’ Rugby Resurgence: From Turmoil to Triumph
A year that began with Wales riddled with off-field problems that undoubtedly contributed to a dismal Six Nations campaign ended with five wins from six and a fourth consecutive World Cup quarter-final appearance. The next World Cup cycle, culminating in Australia in 2027, has already begun and center George North will be part of that negotiation process.
North, who has played four World Cups, will be 35 years old if he makes the squad Down Under but has already made it clear that he has no current plans to follow some of his former team-mates into retirement test. Gatland added: We’ve had a good chat with him and he wants to continue to be available at the moment.
He’s been playing for a long time – since he was 18 – but he has experience and leadership qualities and gives us a voice. He’s probably more important to us in the short term, and then it’s a matter of whether he makes a decision on whether he can continue the next cycle. He’ll be 35 at the next World Cup. Whether he can go that far or not, if he tries to do it, I’m fine with that. It’s just a guarantee that we’ll keep talking.
We are offering Six Nations Tickets. Rugby admirers can get Six Nations 2024 Tickets through our trusted online ticketing marketplace. Eticketing.co is the most reliable source to book Guinness Six Nation tickets.