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Wales RWC Preview
Wales RWC Preview
(Ava Leak wades in with his predictions)

Hello and welcome to the RugbyHeads preview of the Wales team for Rugby World Cup 2003.


So how did we, Wales, get to RWC ‘03? Well it was rather straight forward really. We got into the quarter finals in RWC ’99. So we qualified automatically.


Lucky old Ireland and Italy were the only 6 Nations teams to miss out, and had to qualify. (I had to laugh!-)



If you call that lucky for us, then being in the same pool as New Zealand might suggest that some of it has run out.


But… perhaps no! As Italy, Canada and Tonga round out pool D. We have a fair chance of once again getting through to the quarter finals.


And if we do and face either South Africa or England (pool C winners) well… we may have to be happy with auto entry to RWC ‘07.



Let’s have a look at the Welsh team:


Forwards – Huw Bennett (hooker), Brent Cockbain (lock), Colin Charvis (capt) (back row), Mefin Davies (hooker), Gethin Jenkins (tight head prop), Adam Jones (tight head prop), Dafydd Jones (back row), Duncan Jones (prop), Gareth Llewellyn (lock), Robin McBryde (hooker), Alix Popham (no. 8), Robert Sidoli (lock), Iestyn Thomas (loose head prop), Jonathan Thomas (back row), Martyn Williams (flanker), Chris Wyatt (second row)


Backs – Gareth Cooper (scrum half), Garan Evans (fullback/wing), Iestyn Harris (outside half/centre), Mark Jones (wing), Stephen Jones (outside half), Kevin Morgan (fullback), Sonny Parker (centre), Dwayne Peel (scrum half), Tom Shanklin (three-quarter), Ceri Sweeney (outside half), Mark Taylor (centre), Gareth Thomas (left fullback), Rhys Williams (fullback), Shane Williams (scrum half/wing)


Coach - Steve Hansen


I know, I know… so many stars, where should I start?


Well… I’ll let you away with it, and only comment on Colin Charvis. Scorer of the first try in RWC ‘99, our Captain and back row exponent may even attempt a repeat of his hat-trick (Romania 2001) against Canada first up.


I read his bio on the WRU site and I am pleased to know that when he isn’t playing rugby he supports Aston Villa and says he would like to be an interior designer.


Yet again we thank Him for His changes to Welsh rugby. Such sentiments make me even more proud to be Welsh!


So what are our chances? As to the pool play, Italy is our biggest threat. We did not enjoy the loss in Rome during the recent 6 Nations, and I’m sure the lads will be as eager to exact revenge as Steve Hansen is on John Kirwan.


Canada got a good working over by the New Zealand Maori, but I doubt that they will have lifted their game enough to worry us. Even though some say we have been lowering ours…


The mystery team must be Tonga. Even though they come into the pool as winners of a repechage place they should not be underestimated.


How well I remember the RWC ‘87 Welsh / Tonga game. I was there in Palmerston North (NZ), and my memory isn’t merely of the final score.


No… it was of standing on the lovely concrete terrace next to the Tongan secret weapons as my leak wilted.


The dreaded Auntie’s!


Think of tall female props, with waist-length pony tail and operatic lungs. I don’t know what they were singing and yelling, but I could well believe from the whites of their eyes, that their boyos faced victory… or certain death!


But I know that the leak can rise again, at least to the quarter finals.


Let us know what you think!

The only reason that Wales have a chance to make it through to the Quarters in because they don't play the ABs until their last match of the round. Once mighty Colin Charvis gets another look at Jerry the Collinator he's not going to be a lot of help to his boyos!
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(Although it could have just been on the Reload button doing some serious ego padding!)