We take a look at six of the reasons as to why Warren Gatland’s Wales side can claim the 2016 Six Nations crown…
1.Real experience throughout the squad
Everywhere you look in the current Wales squad, there are experienced individuals and combinations who have been playing together for the best part of five years now. You only have to look at the recent dominance of the All Blacks to see the importance of having continuity in key positions wherever possible.
2.Strength in depth in most positions
Every year claims are made that Wales lack talent outside of their matchday 23, yet every year these same critics are proven wrong. Despite suffering a potentially catastrophic series of injuries in the build up to, and during the World Cup, players continued to step up when they pulled on the Wales shirt helping build depth throughout the squad.
3.Competition for places
Whilst some players are all but nailed on starters, most of the current Wales squad are going to have to work hard to retain their places. The likes of North and Cuthbert are going to be pushed hard by players like Amos and James, and as we have seen, Gatland is no stranger to cutting established first team players which is likely to raise everyone’s game.
Whether it be their gruelling training camps, or their injury nightmares, one thing Warren Gatland has bred throughout his team is a resilience that is hard to overcome. This means Wales often go into competitions as one of, if not the fittest teams ensuring that they are able to battle it out until the last in even the toughest of games.
5.The best fly half in the Northern Hemisphere
Dan Biggar proved to be one of the stars of the World Cup as he continually manages to raise his game on big occasions. Having a player like this slotting in at 10 means Wales will always be in with a fighting chance in any game. His goal kicking was magnificent last year, and he continues to be a key playmaker.
Say what you like about his style, there’s no denying the fact that Warren Gatland knows how to get the best out of his side. It may not always be pretty, but he knows exactly what to do to claim a victory, and there’s no denying that this will be of the utmost importance given how close it looks like the 2016 Six Nations will be.