The most unlucky players left out of the Wales rugby team and why they were left out

0
91


Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has named his 38-man squad for the autumn matches and the announcement was not without surprises. There were seven uncapped players in total with Kieran Hardy, Ioan Lloyd, Josh Macleod, Sam Parry, Callum Sheedy, Johnny Williams, Louis Rees-Zammit all receiving the call. You can see the full Wales squad here.

But as with all team announcements, there are winners and then there are those whose luck has abandoned them.

Such is the force deep in Wales now, there is a long list of capable absentees.

So let’s take a closer look at the unlucky ones:

WILLGRIFF JOHN

It will be a blow to the tight head of Rhondda.

He was due to make his Wales debut against Scotland in the Six Nations, but he’s not even in the squad when the postponed game is actually played.

With that in mind, it risks becoming a real pub quiz question.

We hope that will not happen and that he will one day have his chance to put on the red jersey. There is, however, work to be done with Pivac that raises questions about his fitness.

“He has parts of his game he needs to work on,” insisted the Wales boss.

“By bringing him to camp, we learned a lot about Will and he learned a lot about the preparation needed and the form you need to be in to play at this level of the game.

“He’s worked really hard, he’s lost weight, he’s in much better shape and we talked to him about playing week after week and showing consistency in his game at all levels.

“He had a clear message. ”

ELLIOT DEE

The whore lost her place on the team to Sam Parry. It’s surprising given that Dee has been a mainstay of the team for several years now.

But since Pivac arrived at the scene, things haven’t gone well for him, especially when he missed the Six Nations start due to an injury.

It will be hard for Dee to take, but he’s the type of character who will respond appropriately and you expect to see him on fire for the Dragons in the weeks to come.

“Elliot has only played a few rugby games since before the Six Nations. He did not play in this campaign due to injury, ”said Pivac.

“It was a chance for us to take a look at some other bitches. We want to take a look at Sam Parry, he’s a tall man of about 110 kilos. He has a good carry game and is a very physical player.

“He’s a slightly different player from Elliot, we know what Elliot can do and we’ve talked to him. He knows he needs a series of club-level games to get his minutes and form back to where it belongs.

“He will definitely be considered for the Six Nations. ”

ADAM BARBE

Another shocking omission from the team.

Over the past two years Beard and Dee have almost symbolized the future of the Welsh national team and less than a year after Pivac arrived at the scene both have been scrapped.

Beard misses Seb Davies, who may have taken the lead due to his athleticism on the pitch. Maybe he’s more suited to the big game Pivac might want to play.

Either way, the imposing Ospreys Lock will play with a point to prove in the coming weeks.

TAINE BASHAM

The abrasive young rear rower may find himself unhappy not to be involved.

Chances are he’s been knocking on Dragons boss Dean Ryan’s door in recent weeks, perhaps not having had the opportunities he might have loved.

He was on the bench for the game against Leinster this weekend and it’s hard to get the attention of national selectors when you’re sitting there.

Maybe being on a team that hasn’t won games hasn’t helped. When you’re on a losing team, 50-50 pick calls go against it.

SHANE LEWIS-HUGHES

When Pivac decided he was going to pick six, not seven, the back row, then the die was cast on this one.

Lewis-Hughes has been in brilliant form for the Cardiff Blues lately and is looking to have it all, including time on his side.

He’s a big old boy and regularly wins win-line crashes, whether on defense or offense, which is a desirable trait.

It contributes well to the breakdown and is useful for alignment. He must have been highly regarded by Pivac.

But the Scarlets’ Josh Macleod just needed to make the squad after his irresistible form for the Scarlets.

The Lewis-Hughes hour will come.

JARROD EVANS

The little half-fly came within 40 minutes of being part of the 2019 Rugby World Cup squad and was involved throughout the start of the 2020 Six Nations.

He is clearly very appreciated in the national configuration and has played well for the Blues since the return of rugby, which makes it a delicate moment.

The truth is, Sheedy demanded recognition and is playing in a team that competes on the national and European fronts.

« Jarrod [Evans] had a race in the Six Nations and we just wanted to throw in the net a bit, ”said Pivac.

“Callum played well for Bristol and we think he has a good multi-game.

“At 23, he has a great future ahead of him.

“We talked to all 10. We had a Zoom call with about 55 local players and we talked about the upcoming season.

“Those who were not appointed to this post were questioned. We certainly think Callum has a great future in the game and we look forward to working with him. ”

ASHTON HEWITT

The speedster’s acrobatics made headlines this weekend as he finished emphatically for the Dragons’ only try against Leinster on Guinness PRO14 opening night.

There is no substitute for rhythm and Hewitt has it in spades.

He’s been in and around the Wales squad since Pivac arrived in town, but has yet to make his debut three years after his very first call-up in Wales.

It had seemed a good bet to do it this time.

“Ashton came into the Six Nations because of injury,” said Pivac.

“He is a player who also has work in his game, which he will do at club level.

“For us, Jonah [Holmes] can play at the back and the wing and did so for Wales. He brings a little more to the table for us at the moment. ”

STEFF EVANS

If it wasn’t for Hewitt, then your next best guess would probably have been Evans from the Scarlets.

But he also misses a chance despite his dangerous appearance for the Scarlets during the August derby period.

“If we look at the try scores, I don’t think the Scarlets have scored a try in their last two competitive games,” said Pivac.

“We know Steff very well. I spoke to him in training a few weeks ago.

“Nothing has changed, he knows the areas of his game to work on and he’s made some solid improvements.

“He will play a number of club games now and show the consistency that we are looking for. “

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here