Home International Rugby Nigel Owens Shocked and Fearful for Wales

Nigel Owens Shocked and Fearful for Wales

by Saba Gulmagarashvili

Welsh refereeing legend Nigel Owens has spoken of his shock and fears for Wales’ World Cup campaign after the defeat to Italy on the weekend.

Owens didn’t see the 22-21 loss coming and believes Wayne Pivac’s team won’t make it out of the group stages at next year’s tournament if they keep playing like this. He’s also questioned if the team’s mentality was on point.

Owens said to William Hill:

“This is as low as Wales have been for a number of years,”

“They have never lost to Italy in Cardiff before. They have had some low times in the past, which every team goes through, but losing at home to Italy is something that has never happened before. It’s pretty low.”

“They have got to go to South Africa in the summer – hopefully, they will have a few players coming back from injury and a couple of other players might start the games. They really need to sort out who the best team is going to be and start getting some wins and getting confidence back going into the World Cup. There is no hiding the fact it was very disappointing at the weekend.”

Nigel Owens: My past disagreements with Rassie Erasmus and how one coach sent me 48 video clips of things he claimed I'd got wrong in a game - Nigel Owens - Wales Online

“They are going to have to improve on where they are now or they are not going to make the knockout stages of the World Cup, simple as that, based on current form. There has been a lot of changes, not sticking with the same team. But to be fair to Wayne Pivac, it’s understandable as some players aren’t on their best form, so you need to bring people in.

“They haven’t got a player that stands out in a few of the particular positions and are not on top of their game at the moment. They will need these players to get back into form. There is the summer tour to South Africa, which is going to be a massive ask, and the autumn internationals.

“I thought they were improving as the tournament was going on, but Saturday was a shock. They went backwards and I don’t know why. Nobody knows why. The players and coaches will be scratching their heads too. Whether they were too confident, thinking Italy were going to be a foregone conclusion? I don’t know.”

An Evening with Nigel Owens – Thursday 23rd November – Rugby Club Of London

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