Welsh playing for international future
February 20, 2014
Warren Gatland and Sam Warburton face the press © Getty Images
Warren Gatland has handed his players a stark warning saying if they do not perform on Friday against France, it could be the last time they play for Wales.
Wales were on the wrong end of a 26-3 hammering from Ireland in the last round of the tournament and Gatland has called for his players to bounce back against France. He has made three changes to the side with Mike Phillips dropped and George North shifted to the centres and he has told his players he will not tolerate a repeat of their performance in Dublin.
Gatland said: "I think when we look back, there were a number of players who had not played a lot of rugby, and that probably was a reflection of us not being as sharp as we were and a couple of performances were not to the level we expect.
"We've had a couple of conversations with a couple of players and said their performance was not good enough and not what we expected, and they are aware of that.
"Hopefully they will respond, because it is important now for us in terms of not just this competition, but for a lot of those players they've got to start thinking about the next 12 months and you start thinking about the World Cup, and if they don't play well on Friday night it could be the last time they will play for Wales."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
As Ray McLoughlin prepares to celebrate his 75th birthday, Huw Richards pays tribute to the man and the selectors who had the wisdom to bring him into the Ireland fold
John Taylor argues the world's best XVs players must be given a chance to play in the Olympics to increase the appeal of the game
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament