Disappointed though they were to have lost to England at Twickenham, the Welsh management were still pleased with some aspects of the day’s work. The biggest plus from their point of view was the fitness of their players, who had the legs and lungs to come roaring back at England in the final quarter, after having trailed 20-7 three minutes into the second half.
“I have come away thinking our conditioning is good,” said Wales boss Warren Gatland. “We finished three tries to two up, and created a few other opportunities. We have really prioritised our conditioning this summer, whereas England looked like a team that had done a lot more rugby work.”
“It was more precautionary than anything,” he said. “His calf was a bit tight before the game and if there was a slight tear there was no point in risking him because if he tears the calf badly it’s a six-week injury and he’s out of the World Cup.”
One player who is out of next month’s showpiece tournament is Wales full-back Morgan Stoddart, who broke his left leg during the first half at Twickenham. Gatland had every sympathy for him, but added that he still has plenty of selection dilemmas as he looks to narrow his squad down to the final World Cup 30. “We have got selection problems at the moment in terms of people putting their hands up and asking questions,” he said. “It’s a good place to be in – a good problem to have.”