Gat­land happy to fly un­der the radar

Irish Examiner - Sport - - RUGBY -

War­ren Gat­land is happy for Wales to go into the Six Na­tions Cham­pi­onship un­der the radar.

Wales are cur­rently not men­tioned by pun­dits in the same breath as Eng­land, Ire­land and Scot­land, but Wales head coach Gat­land said: “Long may that con­tinue.”

Eng­land and Ire­land have dom­i­nated since Wales last won the competition in 2013, tak­ing two ti­tles each, with Eng­land tar­get­ing a hat-trick.

Wales’ au­tumn cam­paign — with vic­to­ries over South Africa and Ge­or­gia, but de­feats to New Zealand and Aus­tralia — sug­gests they have ground to make up on their Euro­pean ri­vals, though with play­ers like Sam War­bur­ton, Ge­orge North, Liam Wil­liams, Ross Mo­ri­arty and Justin Tipuric to po­ten­tially reap­pear in the se­lec­tion mix they should not be dis­counted.

“We will do a review with the coaches on Tues­day in terms of the [au­tumn] cam­paign and then start think­ing about the Six Na­tions and plan­ning for that,” said Gat­land.

“With where all the teams are, it’s go­ing to be one of the clos­est Six Na­tions that we have had for a long time. A lot of peo­ple are talk­ing up other teams, and long may that con­tinue from our point of view. Given where we are in terms of the amount of in­juries and the in­ex­pe­ri­ence we put out [for the au­tumn Tests], I think we are in a good place.”

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