Ospreys South African defensive midfielder Tom Botha has emerged as a strong contender for Warren Gatland’s squad later this year, according to reports from Wales. Botha, 32, has been with the Ospreys since 2018 and has previously represented Western Province, the Southern Kings and the Cheetahs.
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After serving three years as a resident, Botha could have represented Wales in 2021 but was not selected. He then had to wait until this year when World Rugby adopted a new five-year residence period. This year he will again qualify for the Rugby World Cup.
“In recent performances, you have seen how important fights are, Ospreys head coach Toby Booth said. Tommy is without a doubt a grappling specialist, so it all depends on what you’re looking for from the #3 jersey. Contrary to some opposition, you need more or less of it.”
Its progress can be judged by the fact that we have a legal props rotation policy. It’s not because we think it’s nice or that everyone should be happy. You have to be good enough to be in this rotation. Tommy Botha starts matches in which he has always been considered a substitute guy.
“That tells me enough that if need be, he will do his best and be ready, because ultimately he does his part of the puzzle. From this point of view, why not?”
Warren Gatland’s shock first Wales Rugby World Cup squad as ruthless decisions changed everything
This is what we will do. It works. And if you don’t want to jump on the train, you won’t play on my team. This is what Warren Gatland said when he first met the Wales players after taking over as head coach in 2008.
The Gareth Jenkins regime came to an abrupt end amid the 2007 Rugby World Cup carnage when Fiji knocked Wales out of the tournament on the billiards stage after Welsh players allowed themselves to be dragged into a rugby game against world-famous rugby masters. running rugby. It was utter idiocy, summed up Adam Jones in his book The Bomb.
“Messages came to the field from the touchscreen. Boys! Calm down! Toughen up the situation, stop playing into their hands.”
Persuasions were useless. Wales lost 38-34, and Jenkins paid the price that his removal from the post of head coach the next day was ruthless and unnecessarily harsh, robbing the proud man of even a modicum of dignity.
But that’s another story. He has already laid out his cards on the metaphorical table, outlining what he has in store for his players: I will tell them: Imagine there is a mirror when you leave the field, I want you to look into it and say: I tried hard today. For more about know Rugby World Cup.
“If someone gives everything, that’s fine. Sometimes in training we put them under stress and pressure. I will try to break some players physically and mentally to find out how strong they really are, and I will let them know that I will try to break them. There is no excuse for a player who put on a national team shirt and did not die for a just cause; if he’s hiding something, he doesn’t deserve to be there.”
Happy days are here again?
Not every Welsh player would feel this way at that moment. But it worked that first season of Gatland. Fifteen years ago this week on 14 January 2008, the Kiwis named their first Wales squad for the Six Nations.
There were only 28 names in the panel, a new captain and a striking inclusion on the open wing flanker. Colin Charvis and Michael Owen, who were excellent Welsh players, didn’t play, but there was room for the 21-year-old who was seen as a fullback or winger.
Went under the name of Jamie Roberts, who admitted he was in seventh heaven just to be on the team. Gavin Henson was also involved after being dropped from the Rugby World Cup team a few months earlier. There were statements about selection policy, warnings and expressions of surprise that England failed to take Sean Edwards. Hurricane Warren hit. Here are some of the highlights and other dark moments stemming from the first squad’s announcement.
The selection shock
Martin Williams became an international rugby player. Fiji at the 2007 Rugby World Cup was his last game for Wales, he decided. All the criticism that was waiting at home, the headlines and the hysteria that would follow the humiliation of exclusion from the pool.
“Right after that, I called the missus and said: Book us a holiday. Anywhere, he says in Ross Harris’ seminal book Behind the Dragon: Playing Rugby for Wales. I didn’t want to be in Wales any longer than necessary because I knew how terrible the reaction would be.”
I wanted to get the hell out of Dodge. Williams went on hiatus. But the end for him as a test player was short-lived. He continued: I retired from international rugby after the Rugby World Cup so I didn’t expect to hear anything. I was 32 years old and just hoping for a few more years of club rugby before I had to hang my boots on the floor.
But Gatland had other ideas. The New Wales coach sent Williams a voicemail inviting him to coffee. According to Williams, the conversation lasted less than 10 minutes. He told me that I had more to offer and asked if I would consider returning to the Six Nations. He guaranteed me two things: that I would train harder than ever and that we would succeed.
Gatland kept his word. You couldn’t have a sharper contrast to what you had before. Damn hell. When Gats and Sean came in, it was completely, completely different, Williams said. The Seven didn’t just return to the Six Nations. He enjoyed it so much that he played 27 more times for Wales, thus cementing his status as one of the best wingers in the country.
Throughout the 2008 championship, he performed at his best, prompting tournament player Shane Williams to later speculate that the fire-haired open flanker may have outrun him in the top game race he had won three years earlier. No one would complain if Martin won it again because he had another outstanding championship, Shane said magnanimously.
The case of Dwayne Peel
Gatland stamped his first team by choosing a new captain in Ryan Jones. He also drafted Roberts, a promising young player whose best position at the time remained a mystery to everyone – perhaps even to Roberts himself. Two former captains, Charvis and Owen, were not involved. For more about knowing Wales Vs Australia Tickets.
“And there was a warning for Duane Peel as reports linked him to a potential move to England. If players like Duane Peel and some others want to leave, it will create difficulties for them, but not for me, said Gatland.”
History says that Peel only started another Six Nations match after Gatland took over. He was a standout player for Wales, winning two Man of the Match awards in the 2005 Grand Slam campaign and setting the then record for being the youngest player to make 50 appearances for his country.
At 26, he was in his prime. But his days as a front line option for Wales are effectively over. Caps from the bench really came his way. But Gatland trusted Mike Phillips. For Peel, it was never the same again.
The player who saw his Test career ended after one game under Gatland
The new mode followed detailed player ratings in the first weeks. And the feedback process didn’t make all the players spin the wheels. Wales defeated England in their first match, but Mark Jones was ruled out of the next game due to “defensive errors” along with Alix Popham. Popham, considered by most to be one of Wales’ brightest players in London after replacing the injured Jonathan Thomas, never played for his country again.
I converted two penalties and that was enough to forfeit my place, Popham later told the writer. What can you say? It would be an understatement to say that it wasn’t what I wanted, but these things happen. One of the penalties was assigned to me when I repelled an attempt with a tackle. I thought it was better to miss a penalty than seven points. The other was touch and go.
“I played on the edge, like all back rowers usually play, and in any game there was always a couple of border calls that went against me. Of course, I was disappointed. We had a great result, and I thought I made a worthy contribution, like all the other boys.”
But it was early when he was a coach and I think Guts wanted to make his mark. I was the one who ended up being sacrificed. Call it gracious acceptance of tough selection. Jones? Our first win at Twickenham in 20 years and I fell like a stone, he later recalled. However, not for long. Boyce, as everyone in Wales knew him, fought back to play in the last three games of this triumphant championship.
The Edwards effect
He’s not with Gatland right now, but what an impact Sean Edwards has had as a defensive coach in the 2008 campaign and beyond. Some Welsh players did not want to use the rush protection system under the previous coaching regime. Edwards had none of that. We are a brilliant team. And if you don’t like it, you can fuck off, he told the players at the first meeting. Start how you want and all that.
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