Wales Rugby and British and Irish Lions Manager Warren Gatland named his Welsh team that will be featuring in the November Autumn Series. “Gats” has made significant changes in his team for the upcoming tests, subliminally signalling the possible end of the “Warren ball” strategy which he has employed for many years with the Northern hemisphere side.
Warren’s changes include four outside‑halves in his team which could be a case of testing for the world cup or a clear indication of expansive rugby on his mind.
The four outhalves are Northampton’s Dan Biggar, Rhys Patchell, Bath rugby’s Rhys Priestland and Owen Williams which gives him the option of having a playmaker at inside‑centre as is the trend in World rugby; something he did with the British & Irish Lions.
“The game is now about playmaking and offloading,” Gatland said. “It’s not so much the ball-in-play time, it’s the ability to keep possession for long periods. We’ve got players with attacking ability, but our set piece has to be good; scrum and defensively we have got to be strong as well. Garland said while unveiling his team.
Rhys Webb will feature in the series as one of the scrum‑halves but with changes in policy, he will be unable to play for the national side next season because of his transfer to Toulon in France which makes his availability for the world cup unsure.
There are five uncapped players in the team with Scarlets’ centre Hadleigh Parkes in the team as one among the five, having qualified to play for Wales despite being from New Zealand.
Alun Wyn Jones remains as captain of the team after taking charge from the now retired Sam Warburton.
Forwards – N Smith, R Evans, W Jones; T Francis, S Lee, L Brown; K Dacey, K Owens, E Dee; J Ball, AW Jones, S Davies, A Beard, C Hill; J Tipuric, S Cross, D Lydiate, T Faletau, A Shingler, J Navidi.
Backs – G Davies, R Webb, A Davies; D Biggar, R Patchell, R Priestland, O Williams; H Parkes, O Watkin, J Davies, T Morgan; A Cuthbert, S Evans, H Amos; L Williams, L Halfpenny.