29/01/2017 Scrum V


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29/01/2017

Sarra Elgan and Ross Harries are joined by Jonathan Davies, Gwyn Jones, Jeremy Guscott and Peter Jackson to preview this year's Six Nations.


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The passion and motivation is going to be huge. Got a point to prove.

:00:23.:00:39.

That is such a classy finish. We are fully aware of what is coming but

:00:40.:00:46.

were excited. Who's going to take the game by the

:00:47.:01:07.

scruff of the next? Who's going to be the X Factor, who is going to

:01:08.:01:10.

make a difference? That is the challenge.

:01:11.:01:17.

Hello, good evening, welcomed to Scrum V's Six Nations preview

:01:18.:01:25.

special. Six days to go until the world for the greatest tournament

:01:26.:01:32.

takes. We are all happy until Wales plays Ireland then it will all

:01:33.:01:35.

change. Let's meet our studio audience.

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They are all very loud! Also in the house tonight we have got the Wales

:01:48.:01:59.

women. And not forgetting our special guests, shall we get them

:02:00.:02:05.

in? Please welcome Jonathan Davies, Jeremy Guscott, Wyn Jones and Peter

:02:06.:02:09.

Jackson. Evening gentlemen, ie making notes?

:02:10.:02:36.

Six weeks until the start of a new condition, excited? Yes, great

:02:37.:02:39.

tournament, really looking forward to it. We are favourite and there is

:02:40.:02:49.

always a shock. It is a fantastic tournament. We always say that it is

:02:50.:02:53.

too close to call but England seem to be favourites ahead of this one.

:02:54.:03:01.

Everyone loves saying that. How big test this be for infant and Eddie

:03:02.:03:08.

Jones? I think -- for England and Eddie Jones? I think it is tougher

:03:09.:03:12.

to retain the championship than when at Grand Slam. I like the fact that

:03:13.:03:20.

Scotland are emerging, a little bit unknown were Wales, Ireland where

:03:21.:03:24.

the team of the autumn series, their tactics were first class. Ireland

:03:25.:03:27.

and England are up there in terms of favourites. England have got to deal

:03:28.:03:31.

with the pressure and the injuries but thankfully, Eddie has worked so

:03:32.:03:35.

well, he draws it all into himself rather than the team. It is mind

:03:36.:03:40.

games. That brews over the eye, suspicions on how that happened.

:03:41.:03:46.

England are clear favourites, should Ireland fans be affronted?

:03:47.:03:52.

Definitely I think they are playing so well against southern hemisphere

:03:53.:03:56.

sides, the pace and invention they have got in their game, and the

:03:57.:04:03.

intensity with which they can play in the regions and in the autumn

:04:04.:04:07.

series, I think for a lot of people and me included, they are my

:04:08.:04:13.

favourites. Scotland are coming up the rails as well, their coach is

:04:14.:04:17.

departing and they will want to send him off with someone -- something

:04:18.:04:22.

special. This could mean that they are back in the championship, it is

:04:23.:04:26.

long overdue, if the French get their act together it will be

:04:27.:04:29.

competitive. The trick with the Six Nations is, more often than not

:04:30.:04:33.

there is a surprise. It is identifying where that is going to

:04:34.:04:37.

be. I would not bet my house on Ireland winning at Murrayfield next

:04:38.:04:41.

week, I think that is potential trouble for Ireland. Likewise

:04:42.:04:45.

England and France. As long as this tournament has got it on

:04:46.:04:48.

predictability, there is nothing to beat it. You have got a bit of the

:04:49.:04:53.

Eddie Jones tonight. It is lovely to enquire about it, but the state of

:04:54.:04:57.

my left hand has got nothing to do with what I said on this programme a

:04:58.:05:02.

few weeks ago! Thanks to the wonderful NHS staff at the surgical

:05:03.:05:06.

unit I will be fighting fit for the start of the season. Glad to hear

:05:07.:05:10.

it. We will be assessing each team's cut

:05:11.:05:14.

chances throughout the night but let's start with Wales, we talked to

:05:15.:05:20.

Rob Howley. Looking at the fixture list, Italy

:05:21.:05:28.

are at first, two teams of the highest rankings you have got at

:05:29.:05:33.

home, Ireland and England, you could not ask for a better fixture list. I

:05:34.:05:37.

think the challenge is getting the selection right for Italy Mike Catt

:05:38.:05:45.

is a fantastic coach, the team are going to be the passion and the

:05:46.:05:49.

motivation. They have turned over South Africa in the autumn series.

:05:50.:05:53.

We will have to be on our best game to win in Rome. On the squad, seven

:05:54.:05:58.

uncapped payers, a few have been in the squad before but am who have

:05:59.:06:03.

not, some are saying it is a bold selection? When you give

:06:04.:06:06.

opportunities to young talent, there is a freshness about it. Those five

:06:07.:06:11.

or seven players who have not been part of the Six Nations squad

:06:12.:06:15.

before, that brings excitement and enthusiasm. It changes the dynamics

:06:16.:06:19.

of the squad. Having a new captain changes the dynamics as well. For

:06:20.:06:24.

myself it is a case of know what I am therefore what I have got to do.

:06:25.:06:29.

Ultimately, that is placed first, Captain second. In my eyes, it is

:06:30.:06:34.

not as one captain, it is a case of the senior group that can have the

:06:35.:06:37.

ability to make those decisions and I think the same thing happened on

:06:38.:06:45.

the right time in the same pressured situation. Does it battle you the

:06:46.:06:51.

amount of criticism Wales get their winning? Not really, everybody has

:06:52.:06:57.

their opinion. Everyone will say that someone should be playing at

:06:58.:07:00.

tight head prop or number eight, and some supporters have got their

:07:01.:07:04.

favourites who want them to play for Wales, whether they are playing

:07:05.:07:10.

badly all good it does not matter. They wanted to see tries galore and

:07:11.:07:15.

champagne attacking rugby, they were seeing narrow victories eked out

:07:16.:07:19.

over what they considered inferior opposition, they thought it wasn't

:07:20.:07:24.

going well. I can see that but I can also see the other side when we have

:07:25.:07:28.

come up short and we have lost those games and have been criticised by

:07:29.:07:34.

not winning. The expectations on this group of players are quite

:07:35.:07:39.

high. That is how it should be. You have got to have a rhino skin don't

:07:40.:07:44.

do this job. Double rhino skin! I have learned a lot in the last nine

:07:45.:07:51.

years. Under the guidance and tutelage of Warren Gatland, there is

:07:52.:07:56.

a bit of Kiwi in me somewhere, but you have to be tough. The ultimate

:07:57.:08:02.

goal in terms of expressing what we did in 2008, 2012 and 2013. It has

:08:03.:08:10.

been three long years and it is time where we have to step up and go to

:08:11.:08:14.

the next level and may be Six Nations 2017 is where we need to go.

:08:15.:08:19.

He sounded pretty confident and plenty to get stuck into but I will

:08:20.:08:22.

come to you on the headline, Alun Wyn Jones, he was announced as

:08:23.:08:32.

captain, right man for the job and a I am not sure whether Rob wanted to

:08:33.:08:36.

give it up or not, there are mixed signals. He has done it before for

:08:37.:08:42.

the Lions. He is a tremendously go. He is good hands. You think it might

:08:43.:08:56.

be Warren Gatland? I would not write him off as Lions captain. His name

:08:57.:09:06.

will come to me! I think Sam has always been a reluctant captain, he

:09:07.:09:17.

has also, I think he is a classy blokes, he has been an ambassador

:09:18.:09:24.

for Welsh rugby. He is an example that everyone. I do not think he is

:09:25.:09:31.

as natural leader on the field as Alun Wyn Jones. Selection would be

:09:32.:09:38.

crucial against Italy, and he has been labelled bold and brave given

:09:39.:09:44.

that he has announced a new captain and five people who have never been

:09:45.:09:47.

in the squad before, but how brave you expect him to be when it comes

:09:48.:09:52.

to selection? I do not think he has been bold or brave yet, and I would

:09:53.:09:56.

be surprised if any one of those seven uncapped players make the 23

:09:57.:10:02.

to play in Rome next Sunday. I would like him to be bold, but there is

:10:03.:10:07.

limited scope. For me, the most damning fact of the 37 that he has

:10:08.:10:13.

picked is there is such a paucity of midfield talent in this country,

:10:14.:10:17.

that there are only three specialist centres. Out of 37. Scott Williams,

:10:18.:10:23.

Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts. And Jamie, he has tried to drop and he

:10:24.:10:27.

is a bit like the man who cannot stop smoking, he keeps bringing him

:10:28.:10:33.

back. The buzzword now is evolve. As we all know, a good team is

:10:34.:10:38.

constantly evolving because it is a process which never stops and never

:10:39.:10:45.

ends. So, for Italy right now, I think I would take 3-0 in Italy

:10:46.:10:50.

right now. The bottom line about next week is winning that game. And

:10:51.:10:54.

I think in view of the confused state in which Wales finished

:10:55.:10:59.

November, I would take any old win in Rome. You cannot have that, I

:11:00.:11:04.

refuse that. You are Wales and the Welsh team, you have got so much

:11:05.:11:08.

experience in that side, so much talent, it is just underperforming

:11:09.:11:11.

in terms of individuals. There is a slight change in the way that they

:11:12.:11:14.

want to play, but you cannot as a member of that Welsh squad that has

:11:15.:11:18.

been together since 2011, want to go to Rome, they will not be happy with

:11:19.:11:23.

3-0. They have got to rack up the points. They are a good enough side.

:11:24.:11:29.

Rugby has changed. If you look at the last six months, seven games,

:11:30.:11:34.

England's average points is 38, Ireland, 30, four or five tries per

:11:35.:11:40.

game. We had 20 points per game at the moment. You cannot win a game

:11:41.:11:45.

3-0 any more, those days of gone. You have got to score tries and win

:11:46.:11:50.

matches. That is why I think the bonus point is irrelevant because

:11:51.:11:54.

teams are going out and scoring four or five tries, did you do not, you

:11:55.:11:58.

will not win. I would have been surprised that he said that, we

:11:59.:12:04.

spoke so much about the Wales evolving, sometimes you get better

:12:05.:12:08.

performances but not necessarily get the win, so how do we appease the

:12:09.:12:13.

critics? Is it all about winning or without be satisfied with a good

:12:14.:12:17.

brand of rugby could like it is all about winning. You know it is tough

:12:18.:12:21.

as a player going over there. It is tougher than at Murrayfield,

:12:22.:12:27.

Twickenham -- at Murrayfield, took on and in Dublin. So this is a good

:12:28.:12:32.

start for an away game. They are good enough side to beat it to be

:12:33.:12:39.

comfortable. They have got to get it -- beat Italy come to be. They have

:12:40.:12:44.

got to get it right tactically, they are going to be better under the

:12:45.:12:48.

leadership of Conor O'Shea and Mike Catt. Their kicking game has got to

:12:49.:12:53.

be good and you have got to turn them, when the opportunities come,

:12:54.:12:58.

you score tries. When we talk about whether performance or result is

:12:59.:13:00.

more important, world rankings come to bear and we all know what

:13:01.:13:04.

happened a few years ago when Wales dropped tonight and ended up in the

:13:05.:13:09.

pool of death in the World Cup, you cannot sacrifice wins in the sake of

:13:10.:13:14.

sacrificing performance -- getting better performance. You cannot. I I

:13:15.:13:23.

want better things from Wales. Orton was great for Wales. The performance

:13:24.:13:26.

is the most people were not back good. People who know more and best

:13:27.:13:31.

about that other players and the coach, they are trying their best to

:13:32.:13:35.

get it right but they are just a little bit below the level. This

:13:36.:13:39.

championship might bring them up because with all of that talent,

:13:40.:13:42.

they have got the most room for improvement out of all the teams in

:13:43.:13:45.

the Six Nations. The problem we have, we have got three centres, and

:13:46.:13:50.

if you are going to evolve the game, those two positions are critical in

:13:51.:13:55.

how you play the game. And the skills in those positions. At the

:13:56.:13:57.

moment, that is the biggest problem for me, selection and who he goes

:13:58.:14:05.

with. He hasn't seen a lot of England and he has not seen a lot of

:14:06.:14:10.

Wales, Jeremy, and he does not understand the level of

:14:11.:14:15.

dissatisfaction there has been. I have got no Welsh friends at all! I

:14:16.:14:22.

think the level of dissatisfaction, while we won, with generally shown

:14:23.:14:27.

in the quality of the game. It was obvious how slow and ponderous we

:14:28.:14:32.

were in attack compared to when you see England and Ireland playing with

:14:33.:14:34.

such ferocity and intensity. And they do not throw the ball wide all

:14:35.:14:38.

the time, they generate pace into their game and that is something we

:14:39.:14:42.

have struggled to do. Unless we do that, we are not good to beat the

:14:43.:14:44.

sides. Let's talk about one of those sides,

:14:45.:14:49.

England, because despite the fact that it pains most of us in this

:14:50.:14:54.

room with perhaps one exception that to admit that it England are

:14:55.:15:02.

favourite, Eddie Jones did turn up to the launch looking a bit worse

:15:03.:15:05.

for wear, with a black eye. He claimed it was slipping in the

:15:06.:15:09.

shower not one of the opposition coaches sticking one on him. He was

:15:10.:15:11.

in pretty relaxed mood. I -- a Grand Slam winning, England

:15:12.:15:29.

rugby team. What a try for England! England in full control.

:15:30.:15:42.

We all know about the phenomenal success you have had with England

:15:43.:15:49.

over the last year, do you like that pressure? You only have pressure

:15:50.:15:51.

when you do not know what you are doing. So no, we know what we want

:15:52.:15:57.

to do, we are planning to do it and now we just need the attitude and

:15:58.:16:03.

consistent sides to do it. The pressure, for me, for a team that is

:16:04.:16:06.

performing well, is the expectation of people around the team, not in

:16:07.:16:13.

the team themselves. From day one, the message has been improved, make

:16:14.:16:17.

sure you improve, and the next time we are together as a team, make sure

:16:18.:16:22.

we improve. What we did in the Six Nations last year and in the autumn

:16:23.:16:24.

internationals will not be good enough to beat France next week. We

:16:25.:16:28.

have had to raise training intensity and go and explore other avenues

:16:29.:16:35.

better. We have had a good year, but that is irrelevant. We need to crack

:16:36.:16:39.

on and keep improving. Had it been weighing on your mind over the last

:16:40.:16:42.

few weeks that maybe you would not been here? Six weeks ago, I picked

:16:43.:16:49.

up my ban, it put a lot of things into jeopardy and it was a good

:16:50.:16:52.

thing to reflect. I reflect most days, but I have had a very clear

:16:53.:16:57.

directive from Eddie and the coaches from what they expect, if he sees

:16:58.:17:00.

something from me, I just want to deliver. Alun Wyn Jones said... You

:17:01.:17:07.

could be making this up! I am not! He said that they want to be key

:17:08.:17:11.

because they are better than you. Why do you want to always beat

:17:12.:17:16.

Wales? I want to beat France. I think you have said that you think

:17:17.:17:20.

England can be better, are you going to scare the Welsh public, how can

:17:21.:17:25.

you be? We have not played well at all, in the last 12 months there is

:17:26.:17:29.

not one game where we have put in. To me, if you play well in a game of

:17:30.:17:34.

rugby, your game is 80 minutes. If you play 50 minutes of good quality

:17:35.:17:38.

rugby, that is a perfect rugby game. Perhaps we are 35 minutes at the

:17:39.:17:42.

most playing really well. I have got a lot of growth to be done in our

:17:43.:17:49.

game. Unbeaten last year, have you got any lucky socks that I can ruin

:17:50.:17:53.

before the chaplain Chip? I have got these, my lucky red Sox on. These

:17:54.:17:58.

are the lucky ones. I wore these are the setting games so please do not

:17:59.:18:02.

take them from me. -- I wore these 413 games.

:18:03.:18:08.

I will start with you, we are picking you up and calling you

:18:09.:18:11.

favourites putting pressure on you, and rightly so because 14 straight

:18:12.:18:17.

wins, not losing into 16 and/or head coach says you have only played 35

:18:18.:18:21.

good in it of rugby since he took over. Is that the case, are there

:18:22.:18:27.

any more gives to go out? Imperious they play with such intensity, it

:18:28.:18:34.

mystified and muddies what has not been going right. There is quite a

:18:35.:18:38.

lot when you analyse it deeply and that is what Eddie is doing. When

:18:39.:18:42.

you look at England's attack, it is not as functional and as pairing as

:18:43.:18:46.

may be an All Blacks or even Ireland. There is a lot of scope.

:18:47.:18:50.

England have based their game on a big set piece and a lot of defence.

:18:51.:18:57.

When was the last time you saw George Ford run through the gap or

:18:58.:19:06.

Owen Farrell busts the game right? The toughest game for England will

:19:07.:19:09.

be Ireland away, traditionally hard game against Wales, everyone will be

:19:10.:19:13.

looking forward to it and people will raise their game. England are a

:19:14.:19:17.

team that winning and they have got confidence. Inwardly they will be

:19:18.:19:19.

reasonably confident coming into this championship as Eddie says,

:19:20.:19:26.

they have not reached that peaked. They have got strength and depth as

:19:27.:19:31.

well, they can pick courses courses and with a short turnaround in

:19:32.:19:34.

games, they are the strongest side because of the strength of their

:19:35.:19:41.

player pool. They will miss some ball-carriers, he has done immensely

:19:42.:19:49.

well, but I think the nailed on 12 is Owen Farrell. Eat controls

:19:50.:19:55.

everything, -- he controlled a living, he has got a great tackling

:19:56.:20:01.

game and he creates space. That is the difference between England and

:20:02.:20:03.

the rest of the Northern Hemisphere sides, that tent at 12 axis. --

:20:04.:20:13.

10-12 axis. What about this way of taking his pressure of his players,

:20:14.:20:17.

Eddie Jones. You hear him saying, we have only put together 35 minutes of

:20:18.:20:23.

good rugby in any 80, but keeps saying that there are world-class

:20:24.:20:27.

players, unless you are hearing a different message internally, do you

:20:28.:20:30.

start to resent that kind of talk? I would not have thought so. From what

:20:31.:20:36.

I gather he is close and supportive to the players, but that huge much

:20:37.:20:40.

pressure on his coaching staff, he makes their life hell, meetings at

:20:41.:20:46.

6am and e-mail at 5am, why didn't you read it. For the team he is with

:20:47.:20:54.

them 100% and a father figure. I think he says it with a smile on his

:20:55.:21:00.

face. I cannot believe a word he is saying, he cannot be telling them,

:21:01.:21:03.

boys, you are rubbish, you are playing Wales but you are rubbish.

:21:04.:21:13.

It is a game he plays. He has a good way of judging the mood, I compare

:21:14.:21:17.

that with the intensity from the Welsh coaches. Little things in

:21:18.:21:20.

press conferences that I would be amazed if I ever heard it from a

:21:21.:21:25.

Welsh coach, some while back a big conference at Twickenham, and he

:21:26.:21:29.

said, boys, he was looking for a fight, I read somebody said that

:21:30.:21:36.

James Haskell had a poor pair of hands. That is not true, he has got

:21:37.:21:41.

a terrible pair of hands. That lightened the mood and he can make a

:21:42.:21:45.

quick like that. I never see that from the Welsh management. He enjoys

:21:46.:21:53.

it. I think it comes from, you should play in Australia, it is a

:21:54.:21:57.

lot worse there, having played there and coached in Australia, I can

:21:58.:21:59.

assure you that whatever he says in public, he does not say the same. He

:22:00.:22:08.

is behind them 100%. Modern players need a bit more of that. We are

:22:09.:22:11.

going to watch, however many millions, are going to watch the Six

:22:12.:22:19.

Nations, when you have a bad game, you do not really need a coach to

:22:20.:22:22.

tell you. A coach at this level should not be doing too much

:22:23.:22:28.

coaching. It is all about tactical play, the execution comes from the

:22:29.:22:31.

players. Eddie is very good at saying it as it is, you did not play

:22:32.:22:35.

well, look at this and that and make sure it improves. We have just spent

:22:36.:22:40.

three minutes doing exactly what he wanted, talking about him. How are

:22:41.:22:44.

they going to manage with their back row injured, getting their major

:22:45.:22:56.

ball carriers out, Vunipola is out, Mike Brown is dodgy at full-back, we

:22:57.:23:03.

have been talking about it. There is no way that Elliot Daly is playing

:23:04.:23:09.

full-back. They are developing him. Mike Brown is therefore as well.

:23:10.:23:15.

Alex Lozowski could fill in as well. I think he is a little bit old

:23:16.:23:19.

school, takes the pressure off the players and it is similar to the All

:23:20.:23:23.

Blacks, in amateur games where you take all the pressure of the All

:23:24.:23:26.

Blacks and the only thing they would have to focus on is playing. That is

:23:27.:23:32.

what he is doing and England are benefiting it, don't have a beer,

:23:33.:23:35.

look after yourself do not be stupid.

:23:36.:23:39.

Now, these next two could not be more different. In terms of stature

:23:40.:23:44.

and personality. They had many a fierce battle on the field of play.

:23:45.:23:48.

Now they have ended up playing for the same club. We thought we would

:23:49.:23:51.

fit Mike Phillips and Peter Stringer in the same room at the same time to

:23:52.:23:53.

see how they get on. So, we are team-mates, once rivals,

:23:54.:24:13.

I did not like you're back in the day, and I do not like you much now.

:24:14.:24:22.

Feeling is mutual. What are your feelings on the Six Nations? Recent

:24:23.:24:27.

times, Ireland under Joe Schmidt has been a revelation, the coach has

:24:28.:24:32.

come in, brought a new damage to their game. Not playing hugely

:24:33.:24:35.

attractive -- and you don't mention to their game. Not playing hugely

:24:36.:24:42.

attractive rugby but they are doing well. Welsh rugby is going through a

:24:43.:24:47.

transition. Yes, I think myself retiring from the game, the boys

:24:48.:24:52.

have not recovered. The Welsh boys are in a different situation. They

:24:53.:24:56.

have a decent autumn in terms of wins, the performances were not

:24:57.:25:02.

quite there but they have picked a young squad and the guys turn it on

:25:03.:25:05.

for the Six Nations so it'll be exciting. Do you think that Wales

:25:06.:25:09.

will pull off another fluky win against Ireland, you scoring that in

:25:10.:25:17.

try that should have this.! -- that should have stood? You have won a

:25:18.:25:23.

World Cup there, the celebrations you had. My hair looks a bit dodgy,

:25:24.:25:30.

shocking. The crowd have touched the ball, it is a different ball. It was

:25:31.:25:36.

never a try. The Welsh girls were excited. That's try it was the

:25:37.:25:42.

difference. That was a massive moment in the game, you guys were on

:25:43.:25:47.

fire as well so it was a big win for us. The history of the fixtures

:25:48.:25:52.

between Ireland and Wales, predominantly Wales would have had

:25:53.:25:55.

good games in Ireland, and vice versa, Ireland having victories in

:25:56.:26:00.

Cardiff, it is the best game I have ever played from an atmosphere point

:26:01.:26:04.

of view. And the memories of the Grand Slam that day that we won. Who

:26:05.:26:11.

is going to win the game, Wales or Ireland? Tough one, no doubt, I'm

:26:12.:26:17.

going to go Ireland. I fancy them coming off the back of a decent...

:26:18.:26:27.

What a big surprise! Beating the southern hemisphere teams, giving

:26:28.:26:30.

them that confidence, I fancy them for the Six Nations and filling of a

:26:31.:26:35.

win against England. -- Robert Pilling four win against England.

:26:36.:26:40.

There is something -- pulling off a win against England. There is

:26:41.:26:44.

something special about Twickenham, it is coming down to the tiny

:26:45.:26:49.

margins of things. Where are we going to watch, are you going to

:26:50.:26:54.

come round mine? I stay well away from you after a few beers.

:26:55.:27:00.

That really was a brilliant afternoon's filming. The stuff on

:27:01.:27:05.

the cutting room floor is priceless, maybe we'll stick some online.

:27:06.:27:11.

Ireland, you said at the top that they are your favourites, they beat

:27:12.:27:16.

New Zealand in Chicago, enormous psychological significance. They

:27:17.:27:18.

come into the tournament thinking they can beat anyone. It is pot

:27:19.:27:23.

impossible to overestimate what they achieved in Chicago. No British or

:27:24.:27:27.

Irish team had scored five tries against the All Blacks in one game,

:27:28.:27:31.

there was a period where they looked like they would lose the game, but

:27:32.:27:38.

in the end, Ireland won it going away, in horse racing parlance. They

:27:39.:27:41.

generated an intensity that not even the All Blacks which were pretty

:27:42.:27:47.

much at fault strength, phenomenal achievement, not even a 71 Lions got

:27:48.:27:52.

five tries in one game against the All Blacks. They are favourites

:27:53.:27:55.

because they have got England at home but none of us know what a toll

:27:56.:28:00.

injury will take over the next seven weeks. I think Scotland at

:28:01.:28:03.

Murrayfield is a tricky one for Ireland if they are going to

:28:04.:28:07.

stumble. It will be there. Joe Schmidt described Wales as the

:28:08.:28:12.

sleeping giant. I think he might have been trailing the Irish squad

:28:13.:28:17.

around the Blarney Stone, because if you look at Ireland's record in

:28:18.:28:21.

Cardiff, 16 games and they have only lost three. It is not even about

:28:22.:28:26.

that New Zealand win, you look at the Irish provinces, Munster and

:28:27.:28:28.

Leinster are playing some great rugby, they are flying in Europe so

:28:29.:28:35.

those guys will be going into camp with great confidence. Yes, they are

:28:36.:28:40.

on the up, they are hugely confident, they had a good tour of

:28:41.:28:44.

South Africa as well. They have got some depth, Paddy Wallace came in

:28:45.:28:53.

when they'd beat it the Springboks. Ringrose coming in as well. Joe

:28:54.:28:59.

Schmidt is actually quite tired tactic, he's very prescriptive about

:29:00.:29:08.

what everyone does -- he is quite didactic, he is no prescriptive

:29:09.:29:11.

about what everyone does, very organised. Phase after phase is

:29:12.:29:15.

planned and done and when they play it a look $1 million, but when they

:29:16.:29:17.

lose the structure they can look lost. But when they get it right,

:29:18.:29:23.

they are formidable. He found an energy source, because this time

:29:24.:29:29.

last, they were worked out, this is what you would do on every point of

:29:30.:29:35.

the field. They went to South Africa and reinvented himself. There was

:29:36.:29:39.

some doubt about Joe Schmidt. He got the team focused again and they are

:29:40.:29:44.

playing the best rugby. That game in Chicago would be in my top five

:29:45.:29:49.

ever. They have got the better kicking game in world rugby. I also

:29:50.:29:55.

think that the half-backs are playing exceptionally well. They

:29:56.:30:00.

also attacked from first phase. They put something on all the time and

:30:01.:30:07.

they build from there. They will say, the writing of the kicking is

:30:08.:30:12.

brilliant. -- variety of the kicking. An intensity which they

:30:13.:30:18.

play at is amazing. I agree, I think favourites for me.

:30:19.:30:22.

Just briefly as well, they have unearthed a rich seam of talent. We

:30:23.:30:30.

thought Driscoll, Darcy and O'Connell would leave them bereft

:30:31.:30:35.

but the new generation, Furlong, Ringrose, Carbery coming through as

:30:36.:30:41.

well, they have seemingly come from nowhere. He reminds me of Driscoll

:30:42.:30:46.

in his early days, and I for the line and the gap and he will keep

:30:47.:30:50.

trying. Many youngsters have the merger in their head, I will keep

:30:51.:30:55.

going, rather than being programmed. I am really looking forward to that.

:30:56.:31:00.

There is a lot of pressure on Sexton because I don't think the centres

:31:01.:31:06.

have a great kicking game. There is a lot of pressure on Sexton. We will

:31:07.:31:12.

talk more about Ireland and the rest of the Six Nations teams and a

:31:13.:31:16.

little while but it is not just the senior men's teams this weekend, the

:31:17.:31:21.

under 20s and women are as well. Wales women are in the House!

:31:22.:31:30.

CHEERING. APPLAUSE. Great

:31:31.:31:33.

all on board, Charis Phillips, Captain. -- great to have you on

:31:34.:31:39.

board. Your campaign has been good, a win in Spain and Ireland and you

:31:40.:31:45.

have been filming a documentary. Yes, we have had four games before

:31:46.:31:49.

the Six Nations four wins, a great feeling for us and we are building

:31:50.:31:54.

as a squad each we play, but we won't get too comfortable because we

:31:55.:32:00.

have a lot of hard work still to put in to consistently compete at the

:32:01.:32:04.

top level of rugby. We are looking forward to the Six Nations now. I

:32:05.:32:09.

would ask you about the impact of the new coach but he is your dad so

:32:10.:32:13.

I know what the answer would be! Yes, he is my dad, but in camp he is

:32:14.:32:20.

my coach. As a squad we have respect for him as well. It is nice to have

:32:21.:32:25.

the whole coaching staff with professional backgrounds and they

:32:26.:32:27.

bring that expectation and standards for us and we have to rise to it. It

:32:28.:32:35.

is a good feel at the minute in camp. We spoke to die young earlier

:32:36.:32:44.

in the season who said Thomas has to play harder than anyone else, is it

:32:45.:32:51.

the same for Carys? We have a professional environment, and Carys

:32:52.:32:58.

has worked a bit harder I think, just so nobody can say that, but I

:32:59.:33:02.

definitely don't think it is a case of thinking Charis has to compete

:33:03.:33:08.

harder. A few shots of the documentary, you training hard, keep

:33:09.:33:12.

up the good work. Mel, fourth last year, what is your target this year?

:33:13.:33:19.

Top! We can end on that, confident! Keep an eye on the Wales women, best

:33:20.:33:24.

of luck to them. Best of luck to be under 20s as well, we hoped to get

:33:25.:33:29.

them in the studio but best of luck to all our teams.

:33:30.:33:33.

Let's turn our attention to Scotland and France, really favoured these

:33:34.:33:38.

days, not seen as potential champions, but right off at your own

:33:39.:33:45.

peril. -- write them off. Merrifield is absolutely rocking.

:33:46.:33:51.

To feel Scotland have the depth, the players that can perform now? We

:33:52.:34:01.

have players that can win, we still don't have the magical number with a

:34:02.:34:04.

majority of the squad with between 40 and 80 caps but we have players

:34:05.:34:08.

with shared experience who have played Test match rugby and are

:34:09.:34:12.

getting better. It is a young team coming together with a few older

:34:13.:34:16.

heads. It is confidence but there are a humble group of players and

:34:17.:34:21.

they certainly know there is a hierarchy and they have to do

:34:22.:34:26.

something exceptional. Are you coming into this campaign more

:34:27.:34:28.

optimistic than you ever have been Marc

:34:29.:34:31.

? There are silent indicators that Scottish rugby is on the move in the

:34:32.:34:42.

right direction with players qualifying from Europe. I am no more

:34:43.:34:46.

confident because the teams we are playing have improved as well. Look

:34:47.:34:50.

at Ireland firstly, it doesn't get more difficult than that.

:34:51.:34:57.

What a try for France and the captain scores. Having swapped the

:34:58.:35:04.

Tigers for Toulouse, one man who knows all about the French style of

:35:05.:35:09.

play is former England international Toby Flood. France at the moment,

:35:10.:35:14.

the backs have a new lease of life and they are putting their own

:35:15.:35:18.

personality and mark on a game but at the same time they are still

:35:19.:35:22.

lacking a little cohesion, and that will probably come with time. You

:35:23.:35:27.

can see Guy's personality come through. It seems to be the tightest

:35:28.:35:33.

championship we have had for years, it could be. You are right, it is

:35:34.:35:37.

going to be very close. It is exciting and great to be part of and

:35:38.:35:43.

we look forward to getting started. We

:35:44.:35:47.

, Scotland -- we say it every year. You sense a lot rests on the first

:35:48.:35:56.

game, if they beat Ireland, they can get on a roll. I hope your husband

:35:57.:36:02.

is in watching! Shouldn't have said that, should I? I can't see it. With

:36:03.:36:08.

Glasgow playing the way they are and Scotland to some extent as well,

:36:09.:36:12.

they are playing exciting rugby and try to score tries. Where I think

:36:13.:36:17.

they lack at international level is power in the back row to carry the

:36:18.:36:20.

ball and in midfield to carry the ball. They have skilful players that

:36:21.:36:24.

whether they have the power to bust through defences when they need to,

:36:25.:36:28.

I think that's where they lack at the moment, but they play well and

:36:29.:36:33.

are looking to be exciting. The new game is much faster, fewer set

:36:34.:36:39.

pieces, more playing, fabulous counterattacking, so they will cause

:36:40.:36:44.

trouble and may win matches, but I don't know if they are getting close

:36:45.:36:48.

to the top of the table. If we talk about research in Scotland, we could

:36:49.:36:51.

talk about a resurgent France as well, so long they lacked an

:36:52.:36:57.

identity. Didn't rate and the tall. On this show we talked about South

:36:58.:37:02.

Africa, how pants they were and how Wales would beat them. We class

:37:03.:37:07.

France pretty close to it -- I would class them. We saw the close line

:37:08.:37:12.

against Australia was flattering for them. New Zealand were tired. I

:37:13.:37:19.

watched some of the Top 14 on TV as drudge, absolute drudge. They could

:37:20.:37:26.

do something, but in terms of development, ambition, it is a

:37:27.:37:30.

boring team. I don't think they are fit enough, look at the French

:37:31.:37:35.

league, they are not fit enough. If they get smashed into Ocon... They

:37:36.:37:42.

don't have smart enough players. Chops and changes too much. The key

:37:43.:37:51.

is, as Quinn said, when we were in Scotland they used to compete but

:37:52.:37:59.

not score tries. That is where the differences -- difference is. For me

:38:00.:38:01.

the scrum-half is Upper To Make Him Captain, I Think It

:38:02.:38:20.

Blunts Scotland's attacking play. I will be interested to see how that

:38:21.:38:24.

develops in the Six Nations. I think the demise of Scotland has been the

:38:25.:38:31.

biggest blow in the Six Nations. Every year you go back 20 years or

:38:32.:38:36.

so to other players, and you think, they will entertain us. I cannot

:38:37.:38:40.

remember the last time I was on the edge of my seat watching France.

:38:41.:38:49.

Fijian 's! It will be sad but interesting to see what is done with

:38:50.:38:54.

them in this tournament. You have been on a trip this week. 24 hours

:38:55.:39:00.

in Rome, not romantic, I just saw Conor O'Shea. Let's see how he is

:39:01.:39:04.

settling in as the new head honcho. Rome is a place where Wales have

:39:05.:39:14.

experienced mixed fortunes. There was the eight try romp two years ago

:39:15.:39:18.

but dark days as well they would rather forget and when they face

:39:19.:39:22.

Italy in the study Olympic Owen a week they will face a new team

:39:23.:39:28.

coached by new man determined to turn them from perennial Wooden

:39:29.:39:33.

Spoon winners to genuine contenders. You greeted me in fluent Italian so

:39:34.:39:40.

clearly you are settling in well. Everyday is learning day. It was

:39:41.:39:46.

pretty special beating South Africa. We are getting stronger and

:39:47.:39:50.

stronger, we will have great days and tough days, but we will get

:39:51.:39:56.

better and better. Perhaps the fixture list is in your favour this

:39:57.:40:02.

year. I said to the players, I am not a shirker, I know I am judged on

:40:03.:40:06.

results but we have a lot to change here, I want to see energy, workrate

:40:07.:40:12.

and intensity from minute 12-minute 80. Winning is irrelevant. That will

:40:13.:40:19.

happen. Our performance is what is important and that's what will focus

:40:20.:40:23.

on. How do you rate this current Wales? If I went through the team

:40:24.:40:28.

and options and selection options, they are incredible. We know the

:40:29.:40:31.

threats they have and the ability they have in the backline to strike

:40:32.:40:38.

from anywhere. They have one of the great leaders of world rugby now

:40:39.:40:44.

Alun Wyn has taken over. They have leaders throughout. It will be

:40:45.:40:47.

pretty brutal. We need Italian rugby to be strong because we want the

:40:48.:40:56.

game to expand, and we will be very, very intense. Sergio Priest they 14

:40:57.:41:03.

Six Nations campaign coming up. He is unbelievable but truly

:41:04.:41:06.

spectacular. If you play 20 odd times for your country, suffered

:41:07.:41:11.

dark days, still alive with the love of a child for the game, still

:41:12.:41:16.

wanting to win, still thinking, this is what we will be in three years'

:41:17.:41:20.

time, still buying into it, not many people are like that. We know we

:41:21.:41:25.

have to improve. This is not a country we can let rugby go

:41:26.:41:29.

backwards in. Hopefully we can put a performance in against Wales and

:41:30.:41:33.

make the people here proud. You can never kid people, if they see energy

:41:34.:41:37.

and workrate, the team literally willing to fight tooth and nail for

:41:38.:41:42.

80 minutes, they understand, and that is probably where the gladiator

:41:43.:41:46.

in the Coliseum comes from. We talked about Eddie Jones getting

:41:47.:41:50.

inside your head earlier and persuading him at this point of

:41:51.:41:55.

view. Conor O'Shea has that similar approach, he convinces you to

:41:56.:42:00.

believe in his theory. I left thinking, you will take it to them.

:42:01.:42:05.

Worried I think is the word. We can gather from someone like Conor

:42:06.:42:09.

O'Shea is that he is clever and smart and intelligent from the way

:42:10.:42:13.

he chats there. Wherever he has gone he has made a change and had an

:42:14.:42:17.

impact and made a difference. He will struggle with Italy because

:42:18.:42:21.

everywhere he has been before it has been a rugby country with a rugby

:42:22.:42:25.

philosophy. This is totally different, and he doesn't have the

:42:26.:42:29.

talent yet. The clubs are playing in the Pro12, there was a massive high

:42:30.:42:32.

when they beat South Africa but that was a poor South African side. It

:42:33.:42:39.

will just be a start in five or ten years which is great, but then they

:42:40.:42:43.

lost to Tonga, which shows you the dynamic of the national side. If

:42:44.:42:47.

anyone can make a change, that clever man can and I wish in the

:42:48.:42:52.

best of luck. He was talking about Sowrey say with the love of the game

:42:53.:42:59.

like a child. They have great players, but without Parisse, what

:43:00.:43:08.

are they? Look at Richie McCaw's record, someone like -- something

:43:09.:43:13.

like 95% success rate that you can put down to those captains, Parisse

:43:14.:43:18.

is about that mark but when you think his appetite is as great as

:43:19.:43:23.

ever in a team that more often than not loses, and loses heavily, then

:43:24.:43:27.

you have to take your hat off to the man. He is one of the all-time great

:43:28.:43:31.

number eight to probably a bit like George Best in soccer wondered, why

:43:32.:43:35.

did I never get a chance to win World Cup 's? Parisse alone as a

:43:36.:43:39.

threat and it will be interesting to see what team Wales, with. We

:43:40.:43:47.

mentioned bonus points, they are in the Six Nations tournament, and in

:43:48.:43:50.

the past they have experimented against Italy and gone looking for

:43:51.:43:55.

tries and to wreck of a heavy score. It is not necessarily the place to

:43:56.:44:01.

do that, is it, to go there first and look to tries? When you pick a

:44:02.:44:07.

game you don't think you will win by 40, you set up to win the game than

:44:08.:44:11.

ones who are in a position of comfort you try to score tries. It

:44:12.:44:16.

is all about creating and taking opportunities and that is the

:44:17.:44:19.

problem we have had. We have not created anything so we don't score a

:44:20.:44:25.

lot of tries. The problem we have is selection of midfielders. Are we

:44:26.:44:31.

creating it or not? I don't think he will make much change. It will be

:44:32.:44:37.

Dan Biggar, Scott Williams, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, but for me,

:44:38.:44:48.

now, I would start with Sam Davies. You know what Dan Biggar does and if

:44:49.:44:54.

it is a problem you put him on. I might be tempted to play Dan Biggar

:44:55.:44:59.

at 12 because he has the distribution. For me it is not about

:45:00.:45:05.

Parisse but their creativity, the Italians, full-back is very average,

:45:06.:45:09.

half-backs are poor and they can't control games, they have no

:45:10.:45:18.

creativity, but off the field, that will get a couple of years to come

:45:19.:45:24.

through. We'll sit back, be patient, absorb it for the first 20 minutes

:45:25.:45:30.

then cut loose. I think we need that creativity in midfield. George North

:45:31.:45:34.

has stepped up. We all recognise what a great player he has been for

:45:35.:45:40.

Wales. In the last couple of seasons he hasn't performed, he needs to be

:45:41.:45:42.

standing by the Centre's shoulder giving him the ball as much as

:45:43.:45:48.

possible. It is up to the Welsh boys to have an attitude and when it

:45:49.:45:54.

comfortably and start the Six Nations on the front foot. You spoke

:45:55.:45:56.

about the backs, how do they go in the back row? I agree with Sam

:45:57.:46:03.

Davies. Attacking rugby starts at ten generally. He is the best at

:46:04.:46:10.

doing it in Wales, Dan Biggar. I think it starts with Sam Davies.

:46:11.:46:15.

Back row wise, same argument for Tipuric at seven, he has to be part

:46:16.:46:20.

of that team, but it leaves a slight in terms of competing for the ball

:46:21.:46:23.

which is a massive part. Tipuric doesn't do it as well as a

:46:24.:46:29.

Wolverton. Warburton and Alun Wyn didn't compete against Australia in

:46:30.:46:33.

the first game of the autumn. We were lighting tackling and

:46:34.:46:36.

struggled. Gethin Jenkins isn't there any more so who will compete

:46:37.:46:42.

for the ball? If Fallon et al is fit and he plays, I think Moriarty will

:46:43.:46:46.

come into that position -- Toby Feller Tao, Sam Warburton still has

:46:47.:46:50.

a great role to play and I think he should start with Moriarty at eight.

:46:51.:46:55.

How are these new directive is likely to play into the Six Nations?

:46:56.:47:00.

We have seen questionable cards being shown and players getting to

:47:01.:47:05.

grips with the directives. Eddie Jones said he was worried gains

:47:06.:47:11.

might be decided by a bad decision. There will be a controversial

:47:12.:47:15.

incident involving none. The wrong player will be sent off as happened

:47:16.:47:19.

in a recent Saracens game when Barrington the prop was sent off and

:47:20.:47:24.

Brad Barritt should have gone. I should hope referees should have the

:47:25.:47:30.

mouse to referee with empathy and be able to discern what is deliberate

:47:31.:47:35.

and not be sympathetic. Getting back to Wales, the questions that concern

:47:36.:47:39.

me, George North, no tries in five games, Jonathan Davies well below

:47:40.:47:46.

par. Luke Charteris, half an hour for Bath this month played, Faletau

:47:47.:47:55.

hasn't played since Christmas Eve. Warburton was a victim of the

:47:56.:47:59.

confusion in being made captain and then wasn't captain when push came

:48:00.:48:04.

to shove. How will they react? Leaning towards a Grand Slams. That

:48:05.:48:12.

is the back row I would go with, play Wolverton at six, Moriarty

:48:13.:48:16.

deservedly at eight. I don't see how you can play Faletau. You can't.

:48:17.:48:24.

Here's the one guy who seems to come back like that. Hears world-class.

:48:25.:48:30.

He has not had any injuries apart from this last time. Something in

:48:31.:48:35.

the water in Bath! He didn't play much against South Africa that he is

:48:36.:48:40.

such quality player. You have to start without him but if he has half

:48:41.:48:45.

a chance of being fit you stick on the bench, here is that good. The

:48:46.:48:53.

other minor decision is where they play Halfpenny and Liam Williams.

:48:54.:48:57.

There is more freedom on the pitch for wingers these days to move

:48:58.:49:02.

around. You see Ashton doing it with Saracens, and in Claremont it was

:49:03.:49:08.

unbelievable. You could say give the freedom to Williams to do it more

:49:09.:49:11.

but his biggest strength is hitting the line, coming from odd angles,

:49:12.:49:18.

and also counterattacks, something we are quite poorer. For me I would

:49:19.:49:22.

play him at full-back but it seems almost certain they would put

:49:23.:49:24.

Halfpenny and full-back and Williams on the wing. Who would you go for in

:49:25.:49:31.

centre? I like the potential of Scott Williams, I say potential

:49:32.:49:35.

because he has been around for a while and amass the caps. Jamie

:49:36.:49:41.

doesn't help in terms of that he is that far-away. It just hasn't fired.

:49:42.:49:48.

I would back the boys by saying go with Davies, because I prefer a ten,

:49:49.:49:54.

when I played at centre, that ran, so it took the focus away from what

:49:55.:50:00.

we were doing. Rob Andrew. Yes, exactly the same thing, who would

:50:01.:50:03.

you rather play with, and I would rather play with the running.

:50:04.:50:10.

Farrell is not the fastest guy in the world but because you have

:50:11.:50:14.

players outside him and he directs them, especially with Ashton, they

:50:15.:50:18.

create space and think outside the box, they look for work. If some

:50:19.:50:24.

Davies takes the ball to the line, same as a forward does, that holds

:50:25.:50:29.

defenders and if you have players either side you create space. You

:50:30.:50:35.

could be telling George North, get on my shoulder, George, you have

:50:36.:50:39.

them all as many times as you can. He needs to get in the ball far

:50:40.:50:45.

more. He is massive and can score, he is quick, he just needs the ball

:50:46.:50:49.

in hand all the time. I still think Liam Williams is a full-back and

:50:50.:50:53.

Halfpenny as a winger, Rob Howley is the coach and doesn't agree with me

:50:54.:51:02.

so it will not happen! The argument against some Davies was size and

:51:03.:51:06.

stature that look at Ford, Russell, Foley. Beauden Barrett. There are

:51:07.:51:14.

ways of hiding it. I think it gives you more in attack and you lose in

:51:15.:51:18.

any other position. His kicking game as good as well. Dan Biggar is a

:51:19.:51:23.

fine player but the game have changed and can work score points?

:51:24.:51:30.

The game hasn't changed. The game changes with the personnel who are

:51:31.:51:35.

playing. You still have to score. There are fewer scrums and

:51:36.:51:39.

line-outs, more open play time players going up so you will have to

:51:40.:51:44.

create, not like we did with Jamie Roberts, who was great, far fewer

:51:45.:51:48.

line-outs now, people don't give this line-out so Jamie becomes

:51:49.:51:53.

redundant in that game plan. Now we have to create from rock faces and

:51:54.:51:57.

faces and counterattack and turnover rather than online + scrums. One

:51:58.:52:01.

player won't make a difference with Coral and Ford. Farrell and Ford

:52:02.:52:07.

coming with the phase is not from the set pieces, but then you have to

:52:08.:52:11.

go back to what you are good at, more of a forceful game, playing...

:52:12.:52:19.

Headaches...! We will catch you up in the second, we have to leave it

:52:20.:52:23.

there but let's look at this pair because with him then they have 78

:52:24.:52:27.

caps from their respective countries, Tom Shanklin with 74

:52:28.:52:32.

Wales, David Blackman a mere eight for England but still suggested

:52:33.:52:34.

eight English caps was the equivalent of 80 Welsh caps!

:52:35.:52:41.

Unbelievable! Here they are with their guide to the Six Nations.

:52:42.:52:47.

It's what makes the Six Nations so special. It is the history of the

:52:48.:52:53.

competition, growing up watching it, seeing the reruns of the 70s team

:52:54.:52:58.

with Gareth Edwards, J PR, Jiffy, those shorts! I think it is about

:52:59.:53:05.

proximity. It is not what team you support week to week or if you don't

:53:06.:53:09.

support a team, you come together as a nation to support your nation

:53:10.:53:13.

against another nation which is really close by so you know lots of

:53:14.:53:17.

Irish, Scottish, in which and Welsh people and it is the bragging rights

:53:18.:53:20.

that makes the Six Nations so special for me. Who will win it? I

:53:21.:53:28.

say this every year. This will be the toughest competition to date in

:53:29.:53:31.

the Six Nations. Against Italy's form, beating South Africa in the

:53:32.:53:37.

autumn, Ireland beating the All Blacks, Scotland vastly improved, I

:53:38.:53:43.

think of Wales cannot beat England in the Principality Stadium it will

:53:44.:53:46.

come down to the last game, Ireland versus England. Who wins that? It

:53:47.:53:51.

pains me to say it but I think England might. It pains me because I

:53:52.:53:56.

think you are probably right. I want England to do well but not quite as

:53:57.:54:01.

well without you in the team! I stopped playing four years ago and

:54:02.:54:05.

have stayed in immaculate conditions and sometimes I think, why do I

:54:06.:54:10.

bother! Who do you think will be the best player in this tournament? We

:54:11.:54:15.

cannot count out that guy. Who is that? I think it is Rocky Balboa!

:54:16.:54:20.

Sam Warburton is no longer captain, Alun Wyn Jones has taken over,

:54:21.:54:25.

playing with less pressure, he has a points to prove. That is the right

:54:26.:54:29.

move, look out for what Britain also Stuart Hogg of Scotland, I think the

:54:30.:54:34.

best 15th in the northern hemisphere at the moment, I think you will have

:54:35.:54:44.

a huge Six Nations. I like Iain Henderson, in terms of power he is a

:54:45.:54:47.

preacher and I say that as a compliment. He is the new Stephen

:54:48.:54:49.

Ferris for Ireland. You played rugby for Wales, had you think Wales will

:54:50.:54:53.

do? I think Wales have a good chance, look at their autumn

:54:54.:54:57.

campaign, three from four, although not the greatest rugby, they will

:54:58.:55:01.

take confidence from that. Look at the squad picked, seven exciting

:55:02.:55:05.

uncapped players, they may not feature in the first few games but I

:55:06.:55:09.

hope we will see them in the tournament, and look at the current

:55:10.:55:16.

crop, Tipuric, Williams. I like him. It is weird. He is my favourite! If

:55:17.:55:22.

they can beat England in the second game they can go on to win it. That

:55:23.:55:27.

is a big if! Really big. I think that is enough, that is good stuff,

:55:28.:55:31.

I am starving, I would like to eat and go home. That's fine. Let's hand

:55:32.:55:36.

back to Sarra in the studio. Goodbye!

:55:37.:55:42.

Was that the Mitchell brothers? I thought we were mates! Good one.

:55:43.:55:53.

Let's talk about the Lions. It is shadowing everything that happens

:55:54.:55:57.

this season, there is a line is damaging to everything we talk

:55:58.:56:01.

about. This tournament is the final trial, a tournament in its own right

:56:02.:56:04.

for every one of those players. How much will that way on their minds?

:56:05.:56:09.

Obviously you want to play well, if you don't you don't get in the

:56:10.:56:12.

Lions, simple as that. Competition is tougher, there are players who

:56:13.:56:17.

have come through since the last Lions tour and Warren Gatland said

:56:18.:56:22.

today, the Welsh players need to perform to put their hands up. The

:56:23.:56:26.

most successful you are in this tournament, the more chance you have

:56:27.:56:31.

of being in the Lions. The Lions are like bonus points. You want to play

:56:32.:56:36.

well first, if you do, that takes care of your selection, if you score

:56:37.:56:40.

tries that takes care of the bonus points. You have done it, as Ross

:56:41.:56:46.

said, it is a huge competition, but for certain individuals is lower

:56:47.:56:50.

danger they will concentrate more on their game to the detriment may be

:56:51.:56:57.

of their team? No, not in my experience, you literally have to go

:56:58.:57:00.

out and play well in the team you have been picked for. Do well in the

:57:01.:57:04.

Five Nations as it was and you could guarantee and spot. The side that

:57:05.:57:07.

wins the Grand Slam or championship will dominate more than likely the

:57:08.:57:13.

Lions side. Which we saw a few years ago, the victory 30-3, four Wales,

:57:14.:57:22.

crowned the championship. Yes, and it was also the last great

:57:23.:57:27.

performance for Wales, four years ago! But right now, if you were to

:57:28.:57:35.

pick a Lions test team to pick next week -- play next week you would

:57:36.:57:39.

have one Welshman and one Welshman only and that would be Alun Wyn

:57:40.:57:43.

Jones, and even then he has competition from people like

:57:44.:57:49.

Launchbury and Graham. You will get competition. But it is ferocious in

:57:50.:57:54.

the second row, tougher there than other players. The only other person

:57:55.:57:59.

close to being nailed on this CJ Stander, who is another example of

:58:00.:58:03.

how Ireland and Scotland have managed the top players, love them

:58:04.:58:06.

all over them and most of us loathe them because we like to think you

:58:07.:58:11.

have to be born in the country to play in a country, but they have

:58:12.:58:15.

done more successfully than the Welsh regions. I think Farrell is

:58:16.:58:22.

nailed on. Like you said, you score tries, you have to scroll with the

:58:23.:58:26.

All Blacks and play with the vision, and I think Sexton and Farrell had

:58:27.:58:33.

turned 12 at the moment. A lot will change and there are probably people

:58:34.:58:37.

now who you are not thinking about who by the end of March will be at

:58:38.:58:42.

the front of the Q. Let's talk predictions for next weekend.

:58:43.:58:47.

Scotland, Ireland? Island, comfortably. I think Scotland might

:58:48.:58:54.

sneak it. Ireland. Ireland. England France? England. I wish! England.

:58:55.:59:06.

Who's the referee? LAUGHTER. I go England. Did we do Wales? Wales,

:59:07.:59:17.

comfortable. CHEERING. APPLAUSE. We expected that answer. You all

:59:18.:59:31.

agree on something! You are like This Morning! . Thanks to our

:59:32.:59:36.

special guests, Jonathan Davies, Jeremy Guscott, Gwyn Jones and Peter

:59:37.:59:40.

Jackson. CHEERING. APPLAUSE. Thank you very much for watching and

:59:41.:59:45.

our wonderful studio audience as well, just six more sleeps until the

:59:46.:59:49.

tournament so if you haven't had enough tonight Gwyn and Peter will

:59:50.:59:56.

hang out for a Facebook Live, and another big preview programme coming

:59:57.:00:01.

on Friday on the eve of the tournament. See you next week.

:00:02.:00:04.

CHEERING. APPLAUSE. Having built the Welsh up

:00:05.:00:14.

to be a certain thing I remember you taking your cans off and going, oh,

:00:15.:00:19.

I get it. I remember turning round and seeing three blokes behind us in

:00:20.:00:26.

tears, and it wasn't till I'd actually seen that but I really

:00:27.:00:30.

truly understood that when people talk about the game being in the

:00:31.:00:35.

nation's soul, it actually is the sole for a lot of people.

:00:36.:00:44.

Sarra Elgan and Ross Harries are joined by Jonathan Davies, Gwyn Jones, Jeremy Guscott and Peter Jackson as they preview this year's championship and look ahead to Wales's opening match in Italy.