Five Bold Predictions For The 2023 Six Nations - Page 2 of 5 - Ruck

Five Bold Predictions For The 2023 Six Nations

2. Gatland’s Return Breathes New Welsh Fire

When Italy’s Ange Capuozzo set off along the right wing in the 78th minute, the sand timer was started for Wayne Pivac. Capuozzo’s breath-taking run before finding Edoardo Padovani, to win Italy’s first Six Nations match since 2015, is an undoubted highlight of last year’s competition, but is one that Wales want to erase entirely from history.

Following an Autumn of losses that included a 12-13 defeat to Six Nations applicants Georgia, Pivac was removed from his post. Warren Gatland was confirmed to the vacancy, in hopes that he will bring back the glory days to Welsh rugby. Gatland is a proven winner with Wales, having orchestrated four Six Nations titles, three of which were Grand Slams.

This is not necessarily stating that Wales will go all the way, but they will almost certainly strive to perform better than the fifth placed finish they managed last year. Gatland’s familiarity with the current Welsh players is a certain bonus. Just two summers ago he was re-united with the likes of Alun Wyn Jones, Liam Williams and Dan Biggar on the closed-door Lions Tour of South Africa.

Louis Rees-Zammit of Gloucester Rugby during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Gloucester Rugby and Saracens at Kingsholm Stadium on June 4 2022 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Tom Sandberg/PPAUK)

This Lions Tour also introduced Gatland to Wales’ recent break-out talent, Louis Rees-Zammit. Expected to return from injury for the clash with England, Gatland already knows how to manage the young star that is ‘Rees-Lightning’, and can bring the best out of him once again.

This will also be an opportune time for Gatland to trial some more of Wales’ young stars, to look towards a future generation, with his current favourites all coming to the twilight of their careers.