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Page last updated at 07:42 GMT, Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Jeremy Guscott criticises 'stodgy' Wales over tactics

Venue: Millennium Stadium Date: Saturday, 13 February Kick-off: 1400 GMT
Coverage: Exclusively live on BBC ONE, BBC HD channel, Red Button and online, full commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, Radio Wales and Radio Cymru, live text commentary and score updates on BBC Sport website

Wales must move on - skipper Ryan Jones

Wales have been labelled "stodgy" and lacking a game plan in their opening 30-17 Six Nations defeat by England by BBC pundit Jeremy Guscott.

As Wales pondered their shortcomings ahead of Saturday's clash with Scotland Guscott said: "I always believe Wales need to play quicker than they do.

"They've gone stodgy, they kick more - they've got footballers. Look at when James Hook got the ball."

He says Wales must rethink tactics before Saturday's clash with Scotland.

Guscott believes the attacking talents of Hook and midfield partner Jamie Roberts need to be better used as Warren Gatland's side seek redemption against Andy Robinson's side at the Millennium Stadium.

Wales coach Warren Gatland
In which direction will coach Warren Gatland take Wales' tactics?

In the wake of defeat at Twickenham, Gatland singled out sin-binned lock Alun Wyn Jones for withering criticism over the trip on Dylan Hartley that was followed by 17 unanswered England points.

But Guscott believes Wyn Jones' rash act was not the only area in which Wales were a let-down.

He said: "There were several areas of the game that Wales defaulted.

"They didn't turn up. When you've got world-class players, particularly like Jamie Roberts, who didn't really get his hands on the ball - there didn't seem to be much of a game plan.

"Their game plan wasn't enabled because they made errors before they got to where they needed to get.

"And it was surprising really, given the quality of players that Wales have.

"Every time James Hook's got the ball he looked like he could do something."


Hook made a telling contribution as Wales fought back from 20-3 down to 20-17 before an interception from a Stephen Jones pass led to James Haskell scoring his second try.

Prop Adam Jones and Hook scored Wales' tries in the fight-back, but Guscott believes Wales should have shown more attacking intent in the game's early stages.

His thoughts echo those of Hook, who said: "We've got to go out and take it to teams from the start and not just wait for them to score 17 points and then just realise we've got to start playing.

"We've got to take it to them from the outset.

"At 20-17 we'd played badly and were still in the game so we've got to take positives from that and that's what we're looking ahead with to Scotland."

*The Wales team announcement will be live on all BBC Sport Wales platforms from 1300 GMT on Tuesday, 9 February.

Wales' 35-man Six Nations squad:

Backs: Gareth Cooper, Leigh Halfpenny, Tom James, Richard Rees, Jamie Roberts, Tom Shanklin (all Cardiff Blues) Dan Biggar, Andrew Bishop, Lee Byrne, James Hook, Kristian Phillips, Tom Prydie, Shane Williams (all Ospreys), Jonathan Davies, Stephen Jones, Martin Roberts (all Scarlets).

Forwards: Bradley Davies, Gethin Jenkins, Deiniol Jones, Andy Powell, Sam Warburton, Gareth Williams, Martyn Williams (all Cardiff Blues), Huw Bennett, Ian Gough, Paul James, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Ryan Jones, Jonathan Thomas (all Ospreys), Matthew Rees (Scarlets), Luke Charteris, Dan Lydiate (both Newport Gwent Dragons), Eifion Lewis-Roberts (Sale Sharks), Rhys Gill (Saracens).

Extended highlights - England 30-17 Wales

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see also
Hook wants Wales to go on attack
07 Feb 10 |  Welsh
Gatland blast at Wales lock Jones
06 Feb 10 |  Welsh
England 30-17 Wales
06 Feb 10 |  Rugby Union
Wales poised for Phillips boost
05 Feb 10 |  Welsh
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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