Sharks Coach spits the dummy
Sale Sharks Director of Rugby, Steve Diamond, is incensed over Wales decision to snub his star prop WillGriff John for the upcoming Autumn campaign.
John, real powerhouse of a tighthead, had originally been selected by Welsh National Coach Wayne Pivac to start last March postponed Six Nations game against Scotland – but now suddenly finds himself out of the 38 man squad entirely.
Diamond says he is “astounded” by this decision!
Pivac has decided to rather go with Tomas Francis, Samson Lee, Dillon Lewis and Leon Brown as his options to fill the number 3 role
John must be one of the unluckiest players to miss out as he was Pivac’s first choice in March and due to COVID-19 lockdown hasn’t had a chance to prove himself in the test arena ever since?
Diamond insists he hasn’t been given any reason as to why his star forward has suddenly been omitted from Wales plans.
“I was astounded when I saw they hadn’t picked him,” Diamond is quoted as saying in The Rugby Paper.
“I think it’s a poor decision, I’m disappointed.
“We have had no contact from Wales. I spoke to Griff on Wednesday just to make sure he was okay and allay any fears he may have had over missing out
“Usually with our English, Scottish and South African players, their management teams are in regular contact with some suggestions of things to work on. I’ve not heard from the Welsh camp, which is very strange.”
Wales have six upcoming games this Autumn, starting with France followed by the rescheduled Scotland clash where John was supposed to start at tighthead.
In November they head into the Autumn Nations Cup Group A games with Ireland, Georgia and England, before ending the tournament with a December 5 match against a team from Group B.
Pivac having Francis now available again, after recovering from a shoulder injury, has preferred to go with the Exeter man. In the meantime Samson Lee has rediscovered his form for the Scarlets after having been axed from the Welsh World Cup squad.
Which leaves Lewis and Brown who Pivac wants to keep in the mix to continue their development.
The Welsh head coach had turned to John, who stands 6ft 3in and weighs just short of 130Kg’s for the Scotland game in March after the Welsh scrum had struggled against England in the previous game at Twickenham.
Obviously Pivac feels that with the return of Francis and Lee that problem is resolved.
But Sale feel Wales have made a major error in overlooking their man entirely.
“While Griff has been a massive work in progress over the last two years, he has also been a dominant tight-head,” continued Diamond.
“In two and a half years he has only missed four games for us out of 100 due to injury. He’s a huge man, a good scrummager and a good defender.
“He’s disappointed, but he’s worldly-wise. He’s just got to keep working hard. You’d think that in building a squad for the World Cup Wales would like to have a look at him.”
Source: Wales Online