Just a few early thoughts on the matter before the team for Wales’ final autumn game is announced on Thursday…
I can’t see Alex Cuthbert being involved, sadly. There was a desperation on his face as he failed to gather a deft overhead chip and score from two metres out. I agree with Wales legend JJ Williams’ verdict that Cuthbert would be better off returning to the Cardiff Blues this weekend and getting some more rugby under his belt. Cuthbert has proved himself a superb finisher, an expert poacher, and impossible to stop from close range when he is at his rampaging best. I want to see him back to scoring ways, but that needs to start at regional level.
If Cuthbert is not involved, a back line of George North, Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams would have a lovely balance and could prove to be a potent combination. I would like to see both Sam Davies and Gareth Anscombe both on the bench, Davies to be introduced as fly-half and Anscombe as full-back cover.
Great to hear that Gethin Jenkins has been declared fit for the game, also. His leadership skills are invaluable to this team, his tenacity a vital cog in the make-up of the front row. He is quite brilliant at the breakdown. I would like to see him resume captaincy for this encounter
Speaking of which, I would afford starting berths to both Tipuric and Warburton – the incumbent skipper at blind-side flanker. Hopefully Faletau will also be available for selection, in which case he also must start. I think we have missed his defensive effort dearly this autumn. Moriarty definitely deserves a place amongst the replacements after two superb and typically aggressive performances in Faletau’s absence.