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Wales Rugby Head Coach Warren Gatland Fires First Shot At England

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has fired his first shot in England’s direction with the observation that he has a much more settled side than his Pool A opponents ahead
02 Sep 2015 14:45
Wales Rugby Head Coach Warren  Gatland Fires First Shot At England
Wales coach Warren Gatland.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has fired his first shot in England’s direction with the observation that he has a much more settled side than his Pool A opponents ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

After revealing his 31-man squad for the tournament, Gatland said: “I think we are much more settled. They (England) have the problem of which way they want to play and who they want to play, who at 9 and 10, who they play in midfield and the make up of the back row.

“It seems to be that they need (Geoff) Parling to call the line outs because he is their go-to man there, but who is his partner and who comes off the bench. So I think we are a little bit more settled and more comfortable with the experience we have got and the combinations we have got,” he said

“They have some world-class players and a depth I would love to have but they are probably not 100% sure of where they are going.”

Gatland, whilst saying there was not much between the teams – “I think there is a bit of respect between the two teams and at the end of the day we are both capable of beating each other.Also questioned England’s decision to omit centre Luther Burrell, as well as the strength of their bench.

“I would like to have the luxury of leaving out (Luther) Burrell because I think he is a quality player who has caused us problems in the past,” he said. “And I think they will miss Dylan Hartley.

“What England have been good at is their impact coming off the bench, with the likes of Tom Youngs  but I am not sure they are going to have that luxury within the makeup of their squad now.”

Captain Sam Warburton is likely to play this weekend against Italy in their last warm-up Test, maybe along with players like Moriarty and Dacey who are not in the 31, but admitted that he thought his RWC was over when he suffered a shoulder injury in training in north Wales.

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