Henson to tackle Scots
4 Feb 2009
Keo.co.za brings you the latest from the Six Nations.
Henson to tackle Scots
Gavin Henson will start in midfield when Wales face Scotland this Sunday.
Henson joins Jamie Roberts in the centres with Mike Phillips and Stephen Jones the halfback pairing.
“We have tried to select on form and are particularly keen to get a look at the partnership in midfield of Gavin Henson and Jamie Roberts which we have been able to select for the first time,” said coach Warren Gatland.
“But we had close calls to make throughout the squad and selection is always down to a matter of opinion – now we wait and see if those players selected can prove those opinions correct.”
Wales – Lee Byrne (Ospreys); Leigh Halfpenny (Blues), Jamie Roberts (Blues), Gavin Henson (Ospreys), Shane Williams (Ospreys); Stephen Jones (Scarlets), Mike Phillips (Ospreys); Gethin Jenkins (Blues), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Adam Jones (Ospreys), Ian Gough (Ospreys), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys), Ryan Jones (Ospreys, capt), Martyn Williams (Blues), Andy Powell (Blues).
Subs: Tom Shanklin (Blues), James Hook (Ospreys), Dwayne Peel (Sale), John Yapp (Blues), Huw Bennett (Ospreys), Luke Charteris (Dragons), Dafydd Jones (Scarlets).
Frogs target Irish
Captain Lionel Nallet believes a win first up is crucial if France are to recapture the Six Nations crown.
“It is absolutely vital we begin the Six Nations with a win,” he said. “Obviously not at any cost, as we must focus on playing a tidy clean match and managing it in a good fashion.
“However we are all committed to winning the tournament and while it is risky to say such things, it is very much the wish of the players and the coaching staff.”
Nallet said he was confident the current squad could do the business at Croke Park, and brushed aside the talk of added pressure to perform.
“No, we don’t necessarily feel any extra pressure on us, but it is true that we must improve on each performance and that we win matches,” said Nallet.
“At least going into the Irish match we have the same backbone of players that we had for the autumn tests (two victories against Argentina and the Pacific Islanders and a narrow defeat to Australia).
“It is true we have to continue to make progress and to work at our tactics, but we must also put our stamp on matches.
“At the end of the day, though, we have to win matches consistently.”
This thread will be updated throughout the day.