We preview the Dragons’ in the run up to Japan…
This week we look at the Six Nations Grand Slam Champions, Wales, the current ranked 2 test side! We preview everything you need to know about the team ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2019 from the recent history, their performance in the last World Cup, the coach, the team and our predictions.
Wales come into the World Cup in their best ever form, they have (at the time of writing) won 14 games in a row including overcoming favourites Ireland and England on the way to winning their third Grand Slam in 11 years. The 6 nations grand slam champions have every reason to be optimistic ahead of the World Cup.
Last World Cup
Wales have had mixed results in the last 2 World Cups, reaching the semi-finals in 2011 before being knocked out cruelly in the closing stages of the quarter finals of the 2015 World Cup by South Africa.
The Coach - Warren Gatland
Going into what will be Gatland’s last tournament as Wales head coach, Gatland will be looking to sign off in style with the Dragons, the team he’s managed since 2007. The highly successful New Zealand coach has overseen several generations of the Welsh team and is the first coach in history to win three Grand slams in Six Nations history and will be in high demand after the tournament!
The Captain - Alun Wyn Jones
Taking over after Sam Warburton’s unfortunate retirement, Wyn Jones has continued where Warburton left off leading the Welsh team with flair to being the Grand Slam champions as well as being named player of the tournament.
The second-rower is the world’s most capped forward in the Rugby World Cup and will no doubt be a key player if Wales have any chance of winning the William Webb Ellis trophy.
The Key Player - Gareth Anscombe
We’ve picked the Cardiff Blues fly half Anscombe as we feel the influential back will be leading the Welsh with his dynamism and playmaking.
The New Zealand born number 10 possesses pin point accurate kicking as seen in the Grand Slam decider against Ireland, where he landed 100% of his kicks at goal which could be decisive in crunch moments at the World Cup. He’ll be under pressure with Dan Biggar eager to take his place, but we think he’ll step up.
We reckon the Dragons’ should make at least the semi finals They are likely to top their group ahead of Australia on current form, playing second place of Group C in the Quarter Finals (England, Argentina or France). If the do win their group, they’ll be on the weaker side of the draw and could make it to the final. Then who knows.
Did you know?
The Dragon’s biggest win was against World Cup hosts, Japan in 2004 where they smashed them 98-0.
Wanna watch the All Blacks in action? Belushi’s Bars across Europe will be showing all of the key fixtures from the Rugby World Cup live on HD screens. Book your table on Belushis.com.
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Written by Ben Kelly and Shereen Sagoo