Six Nations: Warren Gatland aiming to cure Wales rifts amid threat of dreaded wooden spoon
Warren Gatland hopes to heal beleaguered Wales’ rifts in time to topple Italy and avoid a first Six Nations wooden spoon since 2003.
Head coach Gatland admitted Wales’ players were split over possible strike action in the build-up to the insipid 20-10 loss to England in Cardiff on February 25.
Wales now head to Rome to face Italy on Saturday, where a win is anything but guaranteed – but any other result can hardly be considered.
“On reflection, the stuff off the field definitely had an impact,” said Gatland. “There was quite a significant split in the group over which way to go and I think that definitely caused some tension for a couple of weeks.”
Rhys Webb - without a Six Nations start for Wales since 2016 - and Owen Williams team up at half-back against Italy this weekend, with Mason Grady retained in the centres.
Harlequins playmaker Tommaso Allan starts at full-back for Italy, after injury ended budding superstar Ange Capuozzo’s tournament prematurely.