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McBryde wants players to step up

Wales caretaker coach Robin McBryde believes his inexperienced side should be inspired by the success of British Lions pair Sam Warburton and Jonathan Davies.

Wales include 10 uncapped players within the 27-strong squad for their two-Test tour of Japan. However, McBryde has thrown down the challenge to those international newcomers to emulate the achievements of Warburton and Davies, who made their Test debuts the last time Wales toured during a Lions summer.

He said: "We're asking the young players to step up and show what they can do on the international stage. Some of these players have been biding their time and this is their chance to go out and make an impression."

He added: "We have highlighted three individuals [including hooker Richard Hibbard] who were given a similar opportunity four years ago in North America and are now on the Lions tour. So this could be the first step on the ladder for many of this squad if they can emulate what those three have done."

Despite a series of injuries, Wales still possess a degree of experience in half-back pair Dan Biggar and Lloyd Williams as well as in the scrum with Ryan Bevington, Scott Andrews, Andrew Coombs and captain Bradley Davies.

McBryde said: "The front-five is one area we do have experience when you look at the make up of the squad, so we will look to draw upon that. Set-piece is always a crucial part of the game so we can use that experience.

"We've identified a group of eight players such as Bradley Davies and Dan Biggar to take on that responsibility and given them a licence to make decisions. The spine of the team is there and we're just excited to see what the game will bring."

McBryde will become the third coach to lead Wales in the space of eight months after Warren Gatland returned from his British and Irish Lions sabbatical for part of last November's schedule and Rob Howley oversaw the RBS Six Nations success.

McBryde said: "I'm relishing the challenge but I'm fortunate enough to have very experienced members of the management around me such as Shaun Edwards, Mark Davies and Allan Lewis. Mark Jones also promising young coach and relishing chance.

"We're learning as much as the players, especially in a country like Japan. It has been an eye-opener but it's important to have time to enjoy the country and embrace the different experiences and culture as well as enjoying the rugby on the field."


From Belfast Telegraph