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Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Monday, 26 January 2009

Sale's Peel out to impress Wales

Dwayne Peel
Dwayne Peel has won 64 caps for Wales and three for the Lions

Dwayne Peel has vowed to "do my talking on the pitch" after the scrum-half was omitted from Wales' Six Nations squad.

The 27-year-old sent a timely message to the national selectors with a fine solo try to help Sale beat Clermont Auvergne 26-17 in the Heineken Cup.

Speaking about his international exclusion, Peel said: "Obviously I am disappointed but these things happen.

"I thoroughly enjoyed the game at the weekend against Clermont and am going to do my talking on the pitch."

Ospreys' Mike Phillips and Gloucester's Gareth Cooper were chosen ahead of Lions star Peel in Warren Gatland's 28-man squad for the defence of Wales' Grand Slam crown, which starts against Scotland on 8 February.

Kingsley Jones
Dwayne has too much quality and is too good a player to be left out of any squad

Sale Sharks coach Kingsley Jones

Wales assistant coach Rob Howley bemoaned Peel's "limited amount" of rugby this term after the scrum-half's big-money move from the Scarlets to Edgeley Park last summer.

That angered Sale coach Kingsley Jones who said he was "disappointed" with Howley's comments.

"I've heard Rob Howley's statement and it is a little bit open-ended and suggestive in certain areas," said Jones following the announcement of the Wales squad.

"If the lads they have picked are two great scrum-halves who Wales think are in front of Dwayne, then that's fine.

"But we need to send a clear message to Dwayne on what he needs to work on to get back in the squad, which I'm sure he'll achieve.

"If it's a case of playing for Sale is the reason then let's have it out there in the open as it will change my recruitment policy.

"I don't want players at Sale from Wales who are not going to get selected for their country because I'm not going to have happy players - and ultimately Wales want Dwayne playing well and we want the same.

"But I have been reassured by Rob that Dwayne's omission is nothing to do with the fact Dwayne is playing for Sale."

Peel's international hopes seem to have been hampered by the selection policy at Sale, who rotate him with England international Richard Wigglesworth.

The former Scarlets player has started 10 of the 18 matches (excluding two when he was on Wales duty in November) he has been available for for the Sharks this season, coming on as a replacement in five other matches.


Wigglesworth has started eight matches at scrum-half, and two at fly-half outside Peel, who has only started two successive matches on one occasion.

"Richard Wigglesworth is a very good player and they both have brought the best out of each other and I have to manage two very good scrum-halves," Jones added.

"And if we want to be successful we have to have two quality half-backs.

"But Dwayne has too much quality and is too good a player to be left out of any squad."

Peel was one of the few Lions tourists to return with their reputation unscathed from the unsuccessful trip to New Zealand in 2005.

The two-time Grand Slam winner started all three Lions Test defeats against the All Blacks and was expected to join fellow number nines Phillips and Scotland's Mike Blair on this year's tour to South Africa.

But he faces a battle to force himself into the selection picture if he remains uninvolved in Wales' Six Nations campaign.

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see also
Wigglesworth praises Sharks' Peel
26 Jan 09 |  Sale
Sale 26-17 Clermont Auvergne
24 Jan 09 |  Rugby Union
Peel may regret Sale move - Jones
20 Jan 09 |  Welsh
Wales omit Peel for Six Nations
19 Jan 09 |  Welsh
Howley reveals Peel 'frustrations'
19 Jan 09 |  Welsh
Phillips targets return for Wales
22 Dec 08 |  Welsh
Peel set for Wales jersey battle
14 Jan 09 |  Welsh
Cooper gets Wales nod over Peel
05 Nov 08 |  Welsh
Sale Sharks finalise Peel signing
15 Feb 08 |  Sale
Wales' rugby fixtures
26 Jun 07 |  Welsh
Wales rugby results archive
15 Oct 03 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Coming up next on Scrum V...
27 Oct 08 |  Welsh

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