June International Tours

Mefin Davies gets one more throw



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Welsh hooker Mefin Davies – who will move from Guinness Premiership league winners Gloucester to Guinness Premiership title-winners Leicester in the close season – has one last chance to prove his worth to Wales coach Gareth Jenkins on Saturday before the Rugby World Cup.

Davies has been left on the fringes of the Welsh squad since Jenkins took the national reins last year, with Matthew Rees and Rhys Thomas the main men for the hooker position, and Huw Bennett and Richard Hibbard also jumping up the pecking order.

But with the Welsh line-out in dire need of shoring up following both the poor performance last week in the 29-23 defeat to Australia, and the return of Rees to be home at the birth of his first child, Davies has one more chance to show the calming experience he brings to the position.

“There’s always hope and playing for your country is your biggest desire and you always aim for it,” he said on Tuesday.

“If you get an opportunity to be in the squad it’s the place you want to be and I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few campaigns with a lot of different experiences.

“During the Six Nations I was there but not involved and felt out of it and wanted more. Then I was selected for the tour and it’s exactly what I wanted.

“But unfortunately I had an injury that set me back, then had a second opportunity and I’m grateful for it and hopefully I’ll be involved on Saturday.”

The Welsh line-out has been roundly criticised back in the green valleys, and Davies has been mentioned by many as one who could step back into the breach.

Yet the criticism itself has been invidious of what the Welsh forwards are trying to do, according to Davies.

“It’s easy to criticise and some people are making assumptions, but it’s a big-picture environment. If you don’t try things, you don’t know what the opposition are doing,” he added.

“So it’s a bit of a game of chess to some extent and it’s difficult for the caller to make a decision and you don’t know what the opposition are about until you make your first move.”


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