Are Wales world beaters?
Wales were disappointed to finish fourth in last year’s World Cup, but there will only be celebrations if they finish the year fourth in the world rankings as it will mean they will avoid the likes of New Zealand in their 2015 World Cup group.
Currently standing at sixth place in the world, the Welsh will face Argentina, Samoa, New Zealand and Australia at the Millennium Stadium knowing that they have to win these games, and hoping that France and England lose more games than they win.
The Wales squad, at least those who do not play for clubs in France and England, spent last week training in Poland, as they did before the World Cup and the 2012 Six Nations, described as by Shaun Edwards ‘The perfect place to be’. The monumental facilities and un-welcoming weather will clash to provide a stern training camp, just as it has done the past 15 months.
Wales will be without two key members of their grand slam team, the prop Adam Jones and the flanker Dan Lydiate, who both have long-term injuries. Former captain Ryan Jones left Spala early because he needed treatment on a shoulder problem, and Wales may be forced to move their captain Sam Warburton to blind-side flanker against the Pumas, the warrior that Sam Warburton has become, he can be unplayable anywhere on that rugby field.
Personally, Wales and more importantly, Rob Howley, will have a lot to prove regardless of a successful 2012 so far. If they truly want to be likened to the world’s best test rugby nations, they will need this autumn to be 100% otherwise 2015 will be very much a difficult tournament.
Have they got enough? No, I do not see Wales breaking into the top 4 especially with the power of the French and the English showing signs of world beating form.
Do you agree? Are Wales genuinely the northern hemisphere? Or does it really matter due to the enormous skill of the southern hemisphere teams?