An open training session for public consumption is hardly the place to be giving away trade secrets.
After all, the cameras were turned away for parts of last Friday’s captain’s run. The notion that Wales might kick on penalty advantages wasn’t quite akin to the nuclear codes getting out, but teams naturally don’t want to give away anything when there are eyes watching on.
So, with 1src,srcsrcsrc fans inside the Principality Stadium as Warren Gatland put his World Cup training squad through their paces, it was always unlikely that the lineout calls were going to be telegraphed.
Granted, most of the kids enjoying a change of scenery on their school holidays were more interested in the T-shirt cannon than what was happening on the pitch, but there were a few things to glean from this public session.
For starters, there was the obligatory head-count as the players made their way out. Of the 48 players left in Gatland’s squad, there were 41 who took part in the session.
Of the seven not taking part, a few were expected. Ryan Elias and Dafydd Jenkins were undergoing scans after Saturday’s win over England, while George North had rolled his ankle late on so his lack of involvement was no surprise. Rio Dyer also wasn’t involved, nor was Taulupe Faletau, Gareth Anscombe or Johnny Williams.
No clarification was offered on Dyer but it’s likely to be down to a light knock suffered on Saturday, while Faletau’s situation has been known for a while. It’s unlikely we’ll see him during the warm-ups due to a calf injury. He, Dyer and North all watched on from the sidelines.
As for Anscombe and Williams, Wales attack coach Alex King revealed afterwards that both aren’t quite match-fit yet. “Just little knocks in training means they’re not quite there for selection,” he said. “They’re being assessed and chomping at the bit to be given an opportunity.”
With 41 on the pitch, the squad was split up into five teams of eight for some short games of touch, with odd-one-out Alex Cuthbert doing some shuttle runs as he continues his comeback after missing
…. to be continued
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