25/02/2016 Sport Wales


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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.


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