Warren Gatland releases statement after player suddenly quit his squad - Ruck

Warren Gatland releases statement after player suddenly quit his squad

Wales head coach Warren Gatland stated he had no intention of “disrespecting” hooker Sam Parry, who left the summer training squad.

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The 32-year-old decided to depart last Monday ahead of the summer international against the Springboks and the two-Test tour of Australia.

This decision followed Gatland’s indication that Parry was considered a fringe member of the squad.

Warren Gatland response:

“He left on Monday. I was surprised he left the squad”. But quizzed on exactly what had led the 32-year-old to leave, he said:

“He didn’t talk to me. You need to talk to Sam because he hasn’t spoken to anyone,” the Wales boss explained. “I understand his agent has been pretty vocal and stuff which is a little bit disappointing. Look, Sam came in the week before.

“I was straight up with him and told him what the situation he was in in the squad. We’ve put a release out to all the players that we’d picked a squad of 37 and we were only taking 34 on tour. I just wanted to be straight up and front him as a player. I’d like to know where I actually stood.

“I said that he was initially covering for Elliot (Dee) with the injury. So, I was clear in that. I said: ‘Look I don’t want to stuff you around, you’ve been brilliant for us when you’ve come in in the past and we’ll just see what happens with that’.

“So, I’m not sure how I disrespected him there. I talked on Monday about competition within the squad. I thought there was some real competition with the hookers. I didn’t mention them by name. I didn’t want to leave Sam out so I said Sam as well. If I’ve upset him there was no intention to upset the player.

He continued: “I just would have rather him come and see me and say about the way he felt. There was definitely nothing from me in terms of trying to disrespect him or upset him.”

England player ratings vs Japan:

1 Bevan Rodd 6.5

Back in the squad for his first start since the Rugby World Cup win against Chile. Looked up to scratch following his Six Nations injury layoff. Made some short, sharp carries to grind out the hard yards over the gain-line. Received some medical attention after a battering collision just before the half time break. Off for Joe Marler at 43rd minute.

2 Jamie George (c) 7

Wonderfully overthrown line-out in the first half, which found Ollie Lawrence to set up Marcus Smith’s try. Gave away a penalty in the 31rd minute, as Japan pushed for territory downfield. Off for Theo Dan at 43 minutes.

3 Dan Cole 7

After a slow start from the entire England pack, Cole’s experience proved invaluable as the forwards regained the control up-front. Received some attention as his ear was bruised in the front row. Drove for the try-line from close range, but the Leicester man was held up at 48 minutes. Made a try-saving tackle at 53 minutes, as he halted the rapid pace of Japan’s offload attack. This tackle stopped the penalty try being awarded, after Marcus Smith’s early hit.

4 Maro Itoje, 7

Inch perfect work at the line-out, with his telepathic relationship showcased with hooker Jamie George. Solid under the high ball, as he was often the target of a Japan re-start. The lead decision maker for the many England vice-captains. Left in the trail behind Warner Dearns, as the Japan lock showcased immense one-handed skill on the run up to his side’s second try.

5 George Martin 7

A key turn over after seven minutes, as Japan threatened England’s try-line. The lock stepped up in the absence of Ollie Chessum, to form a solid second row duo with Maro Itoje. Pushed on to make key line-out contributions, despite picking up a couple of stinging injuries on his shoulders.

6 Chandler Cunningham-South 7.5

Dropped the kick off, but made a recovery. Turns his favours around by scoring England’s opening try in Tokyo, as he muscled over from close range. Received some brief treatment at 19 minutes, but muscled on for his first start. A monstrous hit at 26 minutes, as the Harlequin changed the momentum.

7 Sam Underhill 8

After a slower start by his high standards, the Bath man was at his bruising best after warming up his shoulders. Brilliant turnover at 46 minutes, as Underhill latched onto the ball and could not be shifted from the ruck. Brought England up to 50 points, as the forward pack bulldozed over from a rolling maul.