Wales coach Warren Gatland watches his team play Fiji last Friday. Photo: WalesOnline
After surviving what he called the “group of hell,” Wales coach Warren Gatland was scathing of a Rugby World Cup draw that was based on rankings three years ago and resulted in his team ending up in Pool A with two-time champion Australia, 2003 winner England, and Fiji, a team that easily could have contended for the quarterfinals.
England’s back-to-back losses to Wales and Australia meant a host team became the first to miss out on the quarterfinals. Gatland, a New Zealander, was stuck between a rock and a hard place while watching the game at Twickenham on Saturday — needing Australia to beat England to ensure the pool would be decided before his Wales team meets the Wallabies next week, which came with the unpalatable concept of being a Kiwi supporting his archrival Aussies in a sporting contest.
Wales coach Warren Gatland says Fiji’s scrum put them under pressure. Photo: WalesOnline
Wales coach Warren Gatland was relieved to get a win over Fiji despite missing out on a bonus point in a thrilling game in Cardiff.
The Welsh looked well-set to pick up maximum points when they led 17-3 after half an hour, with two tries under their belts.
However from there Fiji grew into the game, and even threatened an upset when they got back to within four points early in the second half.
Warren Gatland and Attack coach Rob Howley keeping the Wales players work in training. Photo: WalesOnline
Gatland says management have made Wales’ players aware they will be looking their GPS numbers and body language in training
Warren Gatland has read the riot act ahead of Wales’ vital World Cup clash with Fiji by revealing he’s prepared to drop anybody shirking in training.
The Wales coach made just three changes to the side that beat England 28-25 at Twickenham last weekend in Pool A to inspire the nation with a real backs to the wall job.
Wales players get attention from their medics during the match against England at Twickenham. Photo: Getty Images
World Cup organisers should address the short turnaround between some matches, says Wales head coach Warren Gatland.
Wales face Fiji on Thursday having had only four days to recover from their bruising win against England.
Gatland will not use it as an excuse during this World Cup but believes it is an issue which needs to be addressed in the long term.
“It’s something we all need to be aware of because it’s a pretty brutal game at the moment,” he said.
Gatland says the pressure will be on England if Wales beat Fiji. Photo: Getty Images
Wales face the Pacific Islanders on Thursday after their bruising 28-25 win over the hosts at Twickenham.
England then face Australia two days later.
“If we beat Fiji we’ll put quite a bit of pressure on England I suppose because they’ll have to beat Australia,” said Gatland, who has three fresh injury worries.
They (England) are not 100 percent sure of where they are going, says Welsh coach Warren Gatland. Photo: SMH
Wales coach Warren Gatland has turned the heat on group rivals England, saying they have plenty of questions that must be answered heading into the Rugby World Cup pool of death with his team and the Wallabies.
With only two quarter-final places available from the five-team pool and Wales possibly starting as third favourites to reach the last-eight behind England and Australia, Gatland is undeterred by a critical Twickenham summit clash with England on September 26.
“We are much more settled,” said Gatland after naming his 31-man World Cup squad.