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Last Updated:  Friday, 22 November, 2002, 16:11 GMT
Ask Sean and Jonathan
Rugby Special Forum

Jonathan Davies answered your questions on Sunday 24 November - travel problems meant Sean Fitzpatrick was unavailable.


Why is it that England have shown that they can match southern hemisphere opposition but Wales seem to falter in the second half? Anthony Lewis, Australia.

Jonathan: Wales need to prove that they can compete for 80 minutes, and to do that the structure of Welsh rugby has to be revamped. We should also cut the number of clubs in the country.

We should have three to four top clubs with all the best players together, and concentrate on competitions like the Celtic league and Heineken Cup to raise the quality in our game.

What are the odds on Wales achieving a quarter-final position in the World Cup - and how do you think next year's Six Nations will pan out? Kevin Bullock, Wales.

Jonathan: Firstly, I think Wales should make the quarter-finals of the World Cup. In answer to your second question, the Six Nations will be much closer next year. England and France will battle it out for the title. But I think the next tier of Wales, Scotland and Ireland are all capable of beating each other.

Has Iestyn Harris now proven to Steve Hansen that he should be the starting number 10? He looks a much more potent threat than Stephen Jones. Jamie George, Wales.

Jonathan: I don't think Iestyn has had much of a chance so far to prove his quality on the pitch. Stephen Jones is a very steady pair of hands at fly-half but Iestyn is so dangerous he has to start somewhere, either at fly-half or centre.

With fitter and bigger players it has become more difficult than ever to find space on the field. Is it time to follow rugby league's example and have with 13 players? Richard Jones, Wales.

Jonathan: No, you cannot change the number of players. Rugby Union is a game for players of all shapes and sizes - that is what makes it so special. I also think the use of yellow cards should help.

New Zealand's use of dummy and decoy runners has opened up the attacking side of the game, to show that rugby is not a defence dominated sport.

Do you think England's backs are good enough? Personally I think Jason Robinson should go back to playing at wing with Stimpson at full-back. John, England.

Jonathan: John, I agree, Jason Robinson is a fantstic winger and that is where he should play. England have a number of good options at fullback, and I think they should choose out of either Tim Stimpson, Ian Balshaw, Matt Perry or even Leeds' Dan Scarborough.

Do you feel that the behaviour of the Springboks at Twickenham yesterday was unacceptable, or were they simply playing in their traditional way? John Howson, England.

Jonathan:Yes, it was an awful game in that respect. South Africa knew they were going to get beaten and they resorted to horrible tactics.





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