Six Nations Team Profile: Wales

Wales

Head Coach – Rob Howley

Legendary scrum-half Robert Howley will deputise for Wales coach Warren Gatland, who is taking charge of the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

Howley performed a similar task in 2012-13 when Gatland took a sabbatical to guide the Lions to a 2-1 series win against Australia.

His primary target is to ensure Wales are as highly-ranked as possible by May, 2017 when the 2019 Rugby World Cup (RWC) draw will take place.


Captain – Alun Wyn Jones

Alun Wyn Jones has replaced Sam Warburton as Wales captain for the upcoming Six Nations with the hope that the flanker focuses on his form to “get his mojo back”.

The Ospreys skipper has often deputised for the Cardiff Blues player, including for the Lions’ third Test win over Australia in 2013, when Warburton was injured.

The move puts Jones in pole position to lead the British & Irish Lions on this year’s tour of New Zealand, providing he comes through the Six Nations with his credentials intact.


What channel are Wales on?
Sunday, February 5th: Italy v Wales (ITV, 2pm kick-off) 
Saturday, February 11th: Wales v England (BBC, 4:50pm) 
Saturday, February 25th: Scotland v Wales (BBC 2:25pm)
Friday, March 10th: Wales v Ireland  (BBC, 8:05pm) 
Saturday, March 18th: France v Wales (BBC, 2:45pm)
For the full Six Nations fixture list, CLICK HERE


Stadium – Principality Stadium
In only 17 years, the city-centre stadium has established itself as one of the most recognisable international venues. Expect Welsh supporters to be in fine voice as the ground plays its part in the 2017 RBS Six Nations.
Capacity: 74,154
Did you know? The stadium was first used for a major event on 26 June 1999, when Wales played South Africa in a rugby union friendly match before a test crowd of 29,000. Wales won the match 29–19: the first time they had ever beaten the Springboks
Rugby history: It staged the 1999 Rugby World Cup final and a quarter-final in 2007.

Key Player – Leigh Halfpenny

Fullback Leigh Halfpenny is one of the most talented and successful players of the modern era.

The 28-year-old’s prolific boot and game-breaking ability having proved pivotal for Wales and the British & Irish Lions.

He missed last year’s tournament completely through injury but has been getting back to his best for Toulon ahead of the 2017 Six Nations.


Rising Star – Ross Moriarty

Ross Moriarty is fast becoming the man with the biggest engine in the ranks for Wales.

He had played for England Under-20s, but qualified for Wales through his father – former dual-code Wales international Paul – while his uncle Richard is a former Wales captain.

The 22-year-old has won 12 caps thus far, which includes playing 240 minutes of Test-match rugby during Wales’ tour of New Zealand last summer.


Social Media Favourite – Rhys Webb

The scrum-half is definitely worth a follow!


Record vs
England: Won 57, Lost 60 , Drawn 12
France: Won 48, Lost 43, Drawn 3
Ireland: Won 67, Lost 50, Drawn 7
Italy: Won 22, Lost 2, Drawn 1
Scotland: Won 70, Lost 48, Drawn 3

Year-end ranking: 5

Wales 2017 RBS 6 Nations squad
Forwards:
Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues) (13 Caps)
Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (7 Caps)
Rob Evans (Scarlets) (12 Caps)
Rhodri Jones (Ospreys) (14 Caps)
Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (17 Caps)
Samson Lee (Scarlets) (29 Caps)
Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues) (3 Caps)
Ken Owens (Scarlets) (45 Caps)
Scott Baldwin (Ospreys (28 Caps)
Jake Ball (Scarlets) (21 Caps)
Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (105 Caps)
Rory Thornton (Ospreys) (Uncapped)
Luke Charteris (Bath Rugby) (71 Caps)
Cory Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons) (3 Caps)
James King (Ospreys) (10 Caps)
Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (46 Caps)
Olly Cracknell (Ospreys) (Uncapped)
Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby) (12 Caps)
Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby) (62 Caps) *
Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues) (69 Caps)
Thomas Young (Wasps) (Uncapped)
Backs:
Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (21 Caps)
Rhys Webb (Ospreys) (23 Caps)
Aled Davies (Scarlets) (Uncapped)
Dan Biggar (Ospreys) (51 Caps)
Sam Davies (Ospreys) (3 Caps)
Owen Williams (Leicester Tigers) (Uncapped)
Jamie Roberts (Harlequins) (86 Caps) *
Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (59 Caps)
Scott Williams (Scarlets) (41 Caps)
Ashton Hewitt (Newport Gwent Dragons) (Uncapped)
Alex Cuthbert (Cardiff Blues) (44 Caps)
Steffan Evans (Scarlets) (Uncapped)
George North (Northampton Saints) (65 Caps) *
Liam Williams (Scarlets) (38 Caps)
Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon) (66 Caps)

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