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Last Updated: Friday, 28 January 2005, 13:40 GMT
Six Nations Team Guide - Wales
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England France Ireland Italy Scotland Wales

Anthem: Hen Wlad fy Nhadau (Land of My Fathers)

6N History (2000-04): Never better than fourth, where they have finished three times. Wooden spoon in 2003.

Coach: Mike Ruddock. Controversial choice ahead of Gareth Jenkins, but continued the improvement under Steve Hansen. Greater forward thrust and revival of expansive style pushed the Springboks and almost beat New Zealand.

Wales captain Gareth Thomas
Age: 30
Caps: 77
Tries: 34
Captain: Gareth Thomas. Broke Ieuan Evans' try-scoring record last year. Ruddock opted for his extrovert style over Colin Charvis, which appears to suit both players.

Big man: Lock Luke Charteris could tower over everyone at 6ft 10in, but his Dragons coach Chris Anderson says: "You need to earn the right to wear your country's jersey, not get in because you are 6ft 10in". Ruddock is a believer though.

Wales hooker Robin McBryde
Listen butt, I'll only tell you once
Enforcer: Robin McBryde. Injuries have scarred the hooker's career, but the ex-Wales' Strongest Man takes no prisoners. Lists playing the piano among his hobbies.

Brains and brawn: Centre Mark Taylor, a chartered accountant who has remained part-time during the professional era, is on the fringes these days but engineering graduate Colin Charvis continues to earn high grades.

Wales prop Adam Jones
The hair-bear boyos are a scary bunch
Bad hair day: Opposing props must think they are in a hair salon rather than a scrum when Adam and Duncan Jones pack down. Who says perms went out of fashion?

Southern intruders: Brent Cockbain's brother Matt was a Wallaby, but he describes his own status thus: "I have the flat cap and allotment and my wife was born here so I'm Welsh." Kiwi Sonny Parker lived in Pontypridd for three years.

Bogey fixture: Famous for their hospitality, especially when the Irish come visiting. Wales have not beaten their Celtic brethren in Cardiff since 1983.

Prospects: Is the revival real, or yet another false dawn? Beating England could trigger a top three finish or better, defeat could signal familiar lower half mediocrity.

Odds to win title: 8-1




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