Wales Coach Warren Gatland Calls For More Tests Against Tier 2 Opposition


WALES head coach Warren Gatland wants to host more tier two nations at the Millennium Stadium in autumn internationals after their World Cup heroics.

There have been calls to aid in the development of the likes of Japan, Georgia and Romania after their strong displays at England 2015.

The average winning margin of 20 points was the lowest in tournament history and the ‘lesser’ nations were more organised and more physical than ever before.

Given the saturation of fixtures against the big three of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, there is an appetite for more encounters with burgeoning sides in the autumn.

“The beauty of this World Cup has been the performances of the tier-two nations – most obviously Japan against South Africa and Georgia against Tonga,” said Gatland to the Independent.

“Some tier-one teams were putting 40 points on other tier-ones but the gap between the two tiers is closing now that the second-tier sides have more preparation time and more of their players are playing in Europe.

I was at a Welsh Rugby Union meeting last week when I was asked whether Wales should be playing tier-two nations as part of the autumn series and my answer was ‘yes’ because it’s part of our responsibility to develop them as well.

“Virtually the only time New Zealand play a tier-two nation is at the World Cup. We have to think about teams like Georgia, not just those who will generate money.”

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