"Time to go" - Former Wales international calls for Warren Gatland to go - Ruck

“Time to go” – Former Wales international calls for Warren Gatland to go

Former Wales star Andrew Coombs has ignited controversy by urging Warren Gatland to step down, asserting that WRU chief executive Abi Tierney should have accepted the coach’s resignation in the aftermath of the team’s dismal loss to Italy.

RUCK’s 2024 Guinness Six Nations content powered by ISUZU.

Gatland himself admitted to offering his resignation post-match, a move stemming from Wales’ first Six Nations whitewash since 2003. However, Tierney reportedly declined his offer, indicating her staunch support for the embattled coach.

In a candid moment, Gatland affirmed his commitment to leading Wales until the 2027 World Cup, revealing a tense exchange with Tierney in the changing room. “Yes, absolutely. I’ve made that commitment,” he stated. “I just said to Abi in the changing room ‘If you want me to resign, I’m quite happy to do that’. She said ‘Like hell, that’s the last thing I want, that’s what I’m really afraid of’.”

Nevertheless, Coombs, who boasts 10 caps for Wales, minced no words in his critique, suggesting that Tierney erred in standing by Gatland. “Abi Tierney fails in her first major test,” Coombs declared emphatically. “Accept that resignation!”

The crux of Coombs’ argument lies in what he perceives as a lack of foresight at the helm of Welsh rugby. He pointed fingers at the leadership for inadequate succession planning, asserting, “The build is a continuous thing, it does not start nor stop. There has been zero succession planning for the golden group we’ve had for the last 10-12 years. The WRU have built the problems we are now experiencing. You reap what you sow.”

Despite the swirling controversy, Gatland reassured fans of his commitment to addressing the team’s shortcomings. “I can promise you we’ll go away and review this really carefully,” he affirmed. “We’ve already done some review stuff and (we’ll) work on areas that need to improve.”

“Nightmare tournament” – 5 players who flopped during Six Nations Super Saturday 

We examine five players who struggled to deliver during the fifth round of the 2024 Guinness Six Nations, while France, Ireland, and Italy secured wins.

#1. Adam Beard (Wales)

Rugby Pass 3/10: “A neck roll killed Wales’ early momentum in the second half and it proved to be a costly penalty to give away when front-foot ball was a rarity for the men in red. Italy scored seconds later to compound the error and Warren Gatland had seen enough. A quiet game before that as the Welsh pack struggled physically against the visitors.”

Planet Rugby 4/10: “Apart from his prowess in the lineouts, the British and Irish Lion brought little to the Welsh cause. Blown up for a neck roll on Federico Ruzza late in the opening half and was eventually replaced by Will Rowlands in the 52nd minute.”

RUCK 5/10: “Quick over the ball at the breakdown, and helped his side win an eighth minute ruck penalty. Strong and commanding in the air, didn’t make too many errors at line-out time. Penalised at 44 minutes for a neck roll, as he halted a rare Welsh trip to the Italian 22. Dragged off for Rowlands (51).”

Wales Online 4/10: “Gave away a cheap penalty for a neck roll early in the second-half when Wales were on top which handed momentum back to Italy. Wales’ main source of lineout ball but failed to impose himself physically before getting replaced by Will Rowlands on 51 minutes.”