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On the night's, Warren Gatland speaks to Jonathan Davies a head of
Tamara's game against France. It is the world. You live and die by the
sword. I am the first one to give out a bit of banter. We spent some
time with the women's team. We want people to come out and get behind
the girls. A home crowd will give us a massive advantage against France.
And we catch up with snooker legend Ray Reardon. Happy days at the
moment. So, the third Six Nations weekend kicks off tomorrow night at
the principality stadium with Wales hoping to keep their championship
hopes alive. In a moment we will get the thoughts of Jonathan Davies, but
first we sent him for a catch up with Wales's head coach Warren
Gatland. We all happy and ready to go? Right,
Warren, you have had a nice week. How do you think the tournament has
gone so far? It is the best competition in the world for one
reason and that is the fans. Nowhere else in the world do you go and
potentially get 30 or 40% of the crowd being away fans. It is what
makes our special. Looking back on the Wales game is, how do you
reflect on those? Should we have one in Ireland? We did not start well
enough, but we got back in the game and got in front and probably should
have won. I think we finished strongly. We just had to cope with
it. In fairness to Scotland though, they were really good in the air. We
have prided ourselves on how good we are in the air, but they did better.
Are you happy about the way the site has adapted? Do you need to change
your game plan, maybe not go to why to early? It is asked us realising
what we have two do. We have got it wrong. We have moved the ball too
much. Hopefully it will improve as we go one. You have made a few
changes for the France game, but what are the reasons for festival
Alex being back in? We know his form from where it was. That is
confidence. Sometimes you can't blame players for wanting to leave.
Nowadays they are battered on social media. He has fallen out of love
with the game perhaps, but they are young men and they sometimes
struggle with criticism. He is getting some confidence back, so we
wanted to give him a bit of time. We still like the idea of Stimson and
play together. -- and Warburton playing together. The French bring a
full pack, so it's probably more about bringing that physicality with
Dan in the back row. What do you expect from France? I have seen them
twice this year and I can't seem to work out what they are trying to do?
I think they are a work in progress, they take one game at a time. They
do that in the first couple of games. Their coach has been
incredibly successful. Since I have been involved, we have tended to get
better. Good start? Pretty good. I don't think the Welsh team have won
five in a row against France. I never beat them, unfortunately. What
makes me laugh is I think Eddie is taking over your mantle. Brilliance,
isn't it? He is just speaking from the heart and giving an opinion on
what he thinks. I know in the past I have made a few comments and there
has been pressure on the team of individuals and I've tried to put
the pressure back on myself, but I think it is time where we don't need
to do that any more. I like him as an individual and I get on with
Eddie well. He is just saying what he feels. It is a Friday night in
Cardiff again. You must still enjoy the buzz and the atmosphere. It is
brilliant. I think it is the best stadium. Not just because the roof
is close, it is the proximity of the fans. Everyone gets a great view. It
is special. We are very lucky. When you come back to watch Wells
player, you can have a drink and a steak and then wonder in. I hope so.
I have not watch many games as a speculator. Good luck.
You seemed to be best mates there. Yes. He is quite relaxed. He is old
school. He seems relaxed, comfortable in the environment, and
happy with the way things are going on and off the field.
Do you get a sense of the mood in the camp at the moment from him? I
think they are very experienced. They know what to expect, they know
how to prepare. I think they will be slightly disappointed they did not
win the Irish game, but it is a very tough competition and it is still
there for them to win. What about the team? No surprises in Warren
Gatland's selection? He wants Warburton to be more effective. Is
it harsh? A little bit, but in international rugby you have to give
that extra 1%. Sam plays better at seven. James is back, but perhaps he
needs a little bit more game time. Alex Cuthbert just needs that one
reason brilliance... He is due it now. He is trying, may be trying a
little bit too hard. Do you sense they believe they can still win this
competition? I think so. It is France birth. If you look at France,
and I have seen them twice this year, I don't know what to expect
from them. They have played wide, but that hasn't worked. There is no
real structure to their play, but the one thing that is dangerous is
that they have their top player. Is it overstating it to say lose
against France and that is a championship over? Well, they need
to win every game because England are in pole position and is what
England or France lose two games? They have to win every game now.
Jonathan, talk more very shortly. Wales under 20s play on Saturday and
after two wins they are looking very good. Meanwhile Wales women face a
tough French side on Sunday. Just up the hill from the hotel is
the centre of excellence. This is where the national team train, the
20s, the sevens and the women. Success in the Six Nations is
essential if these girls are to make the grade for the World Cup next
yet, but they did not make the grade against Ireland. We did not perform.
We looked back and reviewed it and then went into the Scotland game
with a lot more confidence. It was nice to play at home in front of a
good home crowd and get the win, so we were happy with that. Wales
secured another victory in the same week as their win against Scotland.
Their flanker became the first female professional. It is great. I
have been honoured to get the female professional. It is great. I
opportunity to be athlete. Everyone is happy for her.
They are also a bit jealous because it is everyone's dream to be able to
focus on training full-time. Everyone wishes her well and if she
is a success, more will follow. What she has done for women's rugby is
incredible. Younger girls just getting into rugby might be thinking
now that there is getting into rugby might be thinking
It is very similar to the men's. One thing is for certain, France are a
powerful team, so how do you prepare for that Western Mark the ravens
have offered to run against us. The physicality Bay are going to bring
will match some of what France will throw at us. Paying against men, it
is ten times quicker, so you have to make faster decisions. In the Bible
played against the guys, it's a real confidence booster. Was that the web
training session? How did it go? We certainly got the tempo we needed
out of it. They are a good team and hopefully the girls can apply that
tempo and play a good competitive game against France.
And Ronnie O'Sullivan picked up his fourth Wales open title last weekend
but did you know he was once coached by a Welshman who won the World
Championship six times. Ray Reardon, Dracula as he was nicknamed,
dominated the sport in the 1970s. He was snooker's original showman. A
former miner and policeman who turned pro and dominated the sport.
A crowd pleaser and a bit a bit of a mystery. Still is at the age of 83.
Ray, we will talk about Ronnie. People forget that you were the big
superstar of your time in the 70s. Going back a few years. Happy days,
as one would say. I gave myself three years to win the World
Championship. If I was not a winner within three years I was going to go
back to being a policeman on the beat. Which title stands out for
you? The first one as it achieves a life ambition. How did it feel to be
a world number one for such a long time? Wonderful. It didn't last long
enough, actually. You entertain people, as well. Because I'm loving
playing. The crowd have paid to see you play. Without them, you will not
earn any money. You had a repartee with the crowd. I wanted to get on
with them and use the television. Like I am trying to use it now. This
is free advertising. It is there, use it. All those characters,
yourself, Alex Higgins, Dennis Taylor in the 1980s. What do you
think of the modern game? I love the standard on show, fantastic but
where is the characters in it? There is one huge box office character.
Ronnie the rocket, five-time world champion and four-time Welsh open
winner who Ray Reardon coached for two years helping to improve his
safety game. Is it true that you got a phone call from his dad? He said,
do you think my son should win any more world titles? I said, yes,
indeed. He said, can you help? I said, I don't know. I said, get him
to ring me. One day, the phone rang. Ronnie? Yes. We had a chat. He said
he wanted me to come and look at me for the World Championship in 2005.
We took it from there and we clicked like no one's business. I loved the
way he played, everything about him. He is the best player I have ever
seen. It is magic. The control he has over the cue ball. It would give
me ten years on my life. Fantastic. This is what he said about you last
week. Sneaky. I'm sure you'll enjoy watching this. This is what Ronnie
had to say about you. He is one of those people you could sit down and
talk to four hours and never get bored. He was so funny. I run the
play one opponent, I've made a shot, he said, why did you play that? I
said, I don't know. He said, when you have got them on the ground,
stamp on the head, get the concrete on top. I would have hated to play
somebody like that. He's taught me stuff on the snooker playbill that
blew my mind. What a lovely man and a great snooker player. I loved
working with him. He's a beautiful man. Fantastic. What you make of
that? Wonderful. Did you see him winning last week? Fantastic. I
loved it. He made some headlines. It's not the first time he has done
something like that. He didn't mean anything harmful to anyone. That is
Ronnie O'Sullivan, that is what you get. I thought it was hilarious. I
sat back in the chair and couldn't stop laughing at that. Who else
would have done that? Ray, great to get your stories on Ronnie
O'Sullivan and your own memories as well. I loved it. A pleasure.
Wonderful. Wales have been busy preparing here at their training
base. What about opponents France, unbeaten in this season's tournament
but that doesn't mean all is rosy in the French camp. Gareth Rees Owens
has been taking a look. French rugby, gloriously
unpredictable, it has its own entry in the dictionary of sporting
cliches. The Germans are efficient, Jamaicans athletes are quick, the
French rugby players, you just don't know which side is going to turn up.
This French side has been rather not French. Unbeaten under coach Guy
Noves after to an spectacular victories. In the past, they have
just played what is in front of them. We love that sort of thing. If
you're going to play against others like that because it is easy to shut
down. Here in the Principality Stadium, Guy Noves is going to
announce his side. The press conference is in French and
unfortunately my French is a bit ropey. Fortunately, Lauren is here
for us. What's happened to the French flair?
We're trying to rediscover it. For so many years, we had lost it. Guy
Noves is trying to bring back a bit of that, not magic, but freed in the
way the players play the game. This week hasn't been totally devoid of
drama. David Smith has been called up. Born in Samoa, brought up in New
Zealand. He won't be getting changed because he is ineligible. He played
sevens for New Zealand. A big blunder. Big style. Guy Noves wasn't
happy at all. The people from the French Federation had forgotten he
had played sevens for New Zealand which was very embarrassingly.
Friday nights lights, not a new phenomenon for the French. Since
they last won, their record against Wales has been shocking. Their worst
run in 60 years. If the experts are to be believed, the trend will
continue. That's the feeling inside the French camp. Let's find out how
the Wales players are doing ahead of tomorrow night's big game. You happy
to be in the starting 15? Obviously, you always want to play for your
country. On the bench you do your part but it's nice to get the shirt
this week. Everybody seems to be in high spirits. I think you live and
die by the sword. I am the first to give a bit of banter out but
everyone is in a good mood today. It has been a busy week. It has been
quite chilled out and it is nice to be back involved in a test week.
And, back in the starting 15. How good is that? I've been given an
opportunity and I'm looking forward to playing on Friday and hopefully
put in a good performance. It always is extremely tough playing France.
I'm sure it will be no different on Saturday. Friday, Surrey. Friday.
You better turn up. Don't be late. They can be the best team in the
world. You have to hope that they don't click. We will focus on what
we need to do and we will focus on Friday. Here we are. Friday night at
the Principality Stadium. What would make it a great night? I just love
coming to the stadium. I used to love playing under flood nights on
the Wednesday night games. You don't see many of those. It will be a
unique atmosphere. . It will be a tough game. You will need a tough
defence. If you slacken, they will cut you to pieces. Having spoken to
Warren earlier in the week, it is evolving that attack in style. You
can see they are trying to do that. It is the players lack of execution
that is stopping them scoring those tries. If they can do that on
Friday, I will be very happy. The other fixture, all eyes an England
against Ireland. With England, you can't see how they have played.
Against Italy they did what they had to do. It wasn't convincing. Ireland
will come all guns blazing. If all the players were fit, I'd expect
them to start as favourites but now England start as clear favourites
and expectation is on then to win. I would just like them to win. What
about Scotland Italy? Italy have improved. They have a couple of good
players. You wrote them off at the start of the competition. They are
still two from two lost. Three from three? This is the one they think
they can win. But I think Scotland have improved a lot better than the
Italians. It would be a devastating blow if they were to lose in Italy.
Can't help but do it. We are already looking forward to Twickenham. It is
a big game and as if results go away I think they will, this weekend, it
will be even bigger. All to play for. Score prediction? Wales by
nine. Thanks for joining us. That's it from others this week. We are
back next week. Until then, have a great week.
What happens over the next 72 hours will change us as men.
It's Ian, your future brother-in-law.
And when we get home, we will say...
that this was the stag to end all stags.
There's bound to be a lot of banter this weekend.