February 1, 2020 / 7:32 PM / 2 months ago

Pivac gives thumbs-up to new, expansive Wales

CARDIFF (Reuters) - New Wales coach Wayne Pivac said winger Josh Adams’ hat-trick in Saturday’s crushing 42-0 Six Nations victory over Italy at the Principality Stadium shows how he wants his team to play.

Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Wales v Italy - Principality Stadium, Cardiff, Britain - February 1, 2020 Wales' Josh Adams in action Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Pivac took over following Warren Gatland’s 12-year tenure during which Wales were at times criticised for relying more on the boot than moving the ball.

New Zealand-born Pivac wants his team to be more expansive and that means players like Adams and George North, who scored the fourth try against Italy, will have more chances to finish.

“I think wingers will get more opportunities with the way we play the game,” he told reporters. “I’m very pleased for him (Adams). I liked his last try, after 80 minutes he’s in close to the ruck looking for the ball.

“He was a top try scorer on the biggest stage (2019 World Cup) so that has to speak for itself.”

Another sign of a more adventurous game from Wales came in Adams’ second score, with flyhalf Dan Biggar the architect as he passed the ball through his own legs for the wing to dot down against a startled Italian defence.

“It just shows the confidence in the player,” Pivac said of Biggar. “He had the skill to execute it beautifully. Dan had a very good game all around.”

Pivac also praised another of the try scorers, former England junior international centre Nick Tomkins, who crossed over on debut after coming off the bench.

“Nick showed that he’s got a lot of talent and ability. That’s why we were happy to sub him in. A lot of people now know who Nick Tompkins is.”

Wales face Ireland in Dublin next Saturday when Pivac will hope to have a few of his injured players back.

“(Hooker) Elliot Dee and (centre) Owen Watkin should be right. (Fullback) Liam Williams will be touch and go. We came through today’s game quite well in terms of injury.

“We’ll look at them, review our performance and look at the areas we need to concentrate on.”

The victory over Italy extended Wales’ record run of home successes to seven.

Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris

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