Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Wales focus on scrum improvement

Robin McBryde says Wales will be working on their scrum over the next week

Robin McBryde has identified Wales' scrum as an area requiring attention before the resumption of RBS 6 Nations business next week.

Wales will tackle Italy in Rome after hauling themselves back into title contention with a first away win against France for eight years. Interim head coach Rob Howley has already named an unchanged team following the Stade de France heroics, and the pack can expect some heavy-duty scrummaging work during the next week.

"To be perfectly honest, we've been disappointed with our performances in the scrum in the first two matches," Wales forwards specialist McBryde said. "We are not controlling everything to the best of our ability. It is something we need to put right."

He added: "There are always a number of contributing factors. There are eight people going hard at it against each other, and we just need to be able to control things better and take a lot of the other things out of the equation.

"We need to come out a lot more positively, ask more questions of the opposition and take certain decisions out of the referee's hands."

Next week's media focus will be on the make-up of a Wales replacements' bench that looks likely to include Sam Warburton and Alun-Wyn Jones.

Warburton captained his country to last season's Six Nations title and Grand Slam, and he was also skipper during a successful 2011 World Cup campaign when Wales reached the semi-finals

But a shoulder injury sidelined him for Paris, with Ryan Jones taking over as skipper and currently keeping the job.

"Sam is in the gym, he's working on a one-to-one basis with the medical team and everything is going in the right direction at this stage," McBryde added.

"He is certainly in a positive mood and he is taking everything in his step, as you would expect somebody of Sam's standing and maturity to do."

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