Jonathan Davies praises WRU’s ‘very quick’ response to Josh Adams’ Covid breach

Jack Davies, PA
·3-min read

Former Wales international Jonathan Davies has praised the Welsh Rugby Union for taking swift action to suspend Josh Adams following his breach of coronavirus protocols.

Adams will miss Wales’ opening two matches of the Guinness Six Nations – against Ireland and Scotland – after attending a “small gathering” of family on Sunday.

The wing was forced to leave Wayne Pivac’s training camp after the transgression came to light and has apologised “unreservedly” for his actions.

“I thought the union reacted very quickly to it,” BBC Sport Six Nations pundit Davies told the PA news agency. “He’s broken the rules, so he’s got to take the punishment.

“I think he realises he’s been a bit stupid doing it like that, but they’ve reacted very quickly, got him out of the way, banned him and they can keep on preparing for Sunday’s game.

“He’s been silly and it can’t be done. It’s one of those things that you learn from your mistakes and I don’t think anyone has to tell him, he knows that he’s let himself and his team-mates down, so just move on now and learn the lessons.

“I think he’s a big loss, but it is what it is and you’ve got to stick within the rules.”

Adams’ suspension comes as a further blow to Pivac’s preparations as he looks to build on an underwhelming start to life as Wales coach since succeeding Warren Gatland, with the side having finished fifth in both the Six Nations and Autumn Nations Cup last year.

Wales coach Wayne Pivac
Wayne Pivac has had a difficult start to life as Wales coach (Adam Davy/PA)

Davies recognises the setbacks Pivac has faced since taking up the mantle but also believes the New Zealander is in need of a strong Six Nations to ease some of the pressure on him.

Davies said: “You take over from Gatland, then you have a loss of form from key players, (current Wales centre) Jonathan Davies has an injury which – because of the stop-start season – he hasn’t really had the opportunity to regain full match fitness and his best form.

“Ken Owens and Alun Wyn (Jones) have been out and then Covid has hit, so it’s not been an easy spell for him – and it doesn’t get easier because he’s got Ireland at home, England at home and three away.

“It’s a results-driven business and he needs to get some wins. I think if he wins two or three, he’d be happy with that.”

Davies pointed to the world of football to highlight the pressures faced by top-level coaches.

Former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard
Frank Lampard was sacked by Chelsea last month (Andy Rain/PA)

“Look at Frank Lampard, and Cardiff City sacked their manager,” he said. “Of course there are weekly games (in club football) so there’s maybe more pressure on them, whereas an international coach, when the games come along the pressure is intense and magnified.”

Stressing the need for Wales to make a positive start to the championship, Davies added: “The Six Nations is such a great tournament and it’s short and intense, so you want to be winning your first game.

“If you don’t win your first game then all of a sudden you’re chasing all the time.

“I think that’s the issue, especially when you’ve got Ireland at home, that’s a tough game to start, and playing two of the toughest teams at home with no crowd is also going to be very difficult”

:: Six Nations Wales v Ireland is on BBC One and BBC iPlayer on Sunday 7 February from 2pm