Wales' potent back line excites coach Rob Howley

South Wales Argus: Wales' potent back line excites coach Rob Howley Wales' potent back line excites coach Rob Howley

THEY will continue to have their critics but Wales will stick to their brute force formula as they attempt to secure a hat-trick of Six Nations crowns.

Warren Gatland's squad are aiming to do something that the famous 1970s squad failed to manage by making it three title successes on the spin.

The 2012 Grand Slam and 2013 victory were based on solid defence, powerful attack and the deadly boot of Leigh Halfpenny.

The term 'Warrenball' was coined over the summer when Warren Gatland used the same blueprint for secure a Test series success for the British and Irish Lions in Australia.

It is a tactic that has failed to topple the southern hemisphere big guns but Europe has failed to find an answer to it and Wales will once again be looking for their power runners to do the damage.

"When you have the likes of George North and Alex Cuthbert, Scott Williams and Jamie Roberts you want them to have as many touches of the ball as possible," said attack coach Rob Howley.

"We have set goals for Alex and George: George has said to me his most enjoyable Six Nations was 2012 when he touched the ball 50-odd times.

"Last year it was 30-odd, but I think that was because of the weather. I hope we have good weather in the next few weeks so we can stress sides with a ball-in-hand game."

Howley, however, insists that there is more to Wales' game than the sledgehammer approach, that their success isn't just down to their prowess in the gym.

"Everyone has talked about size and physical edge, but it is the small touches, the ability to create space," he said.

"It is important how we try to create space, sides do it in different ways and it is something which has been successful.

"Sides know what is coming and it is very difficult to stop. It is about how accurate you are when you do it. Australia in the third Test knew what was coming but could not stop it.

"We keep challenging ourselves about, bringing different skill sets to the likes of Jamie, George and Alex in terms of being able to off-load in traffic.

"It is all about being able to win that collision and earning the right to off-load and create space.

"This backline is still very young and learning. There are a lot of pace, skill and physicality in it and it is about working on honing all that so that we are accurate in tight traffic."

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:34pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Melvyn The Milk says...

Traffic? Are we playing on the M4 this year?
Traffic? Are we playing on the M4 this year? Melvyn The Milk

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree