Featured Teams


2010-10-25 19:20

Captain: Sam Warburton

Coach: Warren Gatland

RWC Appearances: 6 (First in 1987)

Best result: Third 1987

Rugby is practically a religion in Wales, but, apart from a memorable Six Nations victory in 2008, the national team have not performed well in recent years.

Wales have a long history at the World Cup, having competed in all of the tournament's installments, hosted the the 1999 competition and finished third in the inaugural event.

However, Wales have not been able to repeat their 1987 feat and seem to have stagnated while other nations have consistently improved.

Wales' did not qualify for the quarter-finals in 1991 or 1995, were knocked out at the quarter-finals in 1999 and 2003 and the team's regression came to a head at the 2007 World Cup when they were again knocked out in the group stage.

Gareth Jenkins was subsequently fired and replaced by current coach Warren Gatland, who made an immediate impact by first guiding the team to victory over England, 2007 World Cup losing finalists, in the first match of the 2008 Six Nations and then winning the tournament itself.

However, the Six Nations victory was followed by two losses to an on-form Springboks side in their last two games of the 2007/2008 season.

The following season saw more inconsistent form from Wales, with the team finishing third in the Six Nations, losing four of their 11 Test matches and failing to string together more than two wins on the trot.

Wales slipped even further down the Six Nations pecking order in the 2009/2010 season with a fourth place finish and won only four of the 12 Tests they played.

Gatland has since attempted to arrest Wales' slide to mediocrity by focusing on the teams conditioning. Wales visited Poland for training camps on two occasions during the off-season and subsequently won two of their three World Cup warm-up Tests.

The victories, one of which was against England, show that Wales are still capable of pulling off an upset, but a tough group containing Pacific Islanders Fiji and Samoa, minnows Namibia and defending champions South Africa means they will need to be on top form if they are to avoid a repeat of 2007.


Forwards: Huw Bennett, Ryan Bevington, Lloyd Burns, Luke Charteris, Bradley Davies, Toby Faletau, Paul James, Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ryan Jones, Dan Lydiate, Craig Mitchell, Ken Owens, Andy Powell, Sam Warburton.

Backs: Aled Brew, Lee Byrne, Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, James Hook, Stephen Jones, Travis Knoyle, George North, Mike Phillips, Rhys Priestland, Jamie Roberts, Lloyd Williams, Scott Williams, Shane Williams.

Key Player

Shane Williams
Height: 1.70m
Weight: 80kgs

Arguably the best winger in world rugby in 2008, Williams is tenacious, incredibly fast, with a great awareness of space and the ability to change direction without losing speed.


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