In what looks to be the deciding fixture of the Championship, the New Zealander has reverted to a similar team that faced France in round one, albeit with some minor injury changes such as Gareth Davis replacing Tomos Williams.
This selection, however, has raised a few eyebrows from the fans. Many Wales supporters have questioned the absence of Thomas Young from the matchday squad. The Wasps flanker has been knocking on the door to start for Wales for years now, and earned his first Six Nations start against Italy in the last round. In what was not the greatest Welsh performance, Young performed well, and was a nuisance at the breakdown as usual.
The current back row of Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty are performing well and have experience in such a big game, but many feel that Young deserved a place on the bench ahead of Aaron Wainwright this Saturday. A lot of fans seem to sympathise with the 26-year-old, who is finding it very hard to break through in Wales given his success he has in England every week:
Also anyone else thinking to have had Thomas Young’s on the bench. Would’ve been harsh on wainwright, yes but Young’s plays week in & week out against the English backrowers and his track record proves majority of the time he comes up on top. Just IMO & I do rate Wainwright
— Nathan Lloyd (@NMarzy4) February 21, 2019
Quite a reliable starting 15 picked for Wales with plenty of strength and attack. But that bench is dire. No back 3 cover and really feel for Thomas Young not to be on the bench. I feel he's more than capable for this test.
— ??????? Geraint Jeremy ??????? (@gerz1987) February 21, 2019
Thomas Young is another one who should have made the bench
— Tomos Rhys Watson ??????? (@TRW91) February 21, 2019
No Thomas Young! I’d have him on the bench for sure.
— London Chauffeur (@CrownChauffeurs) February 17, 2019
I think Thomas young should at least make the bench with the stats like his every club game he will make a huge impact at international level of the bench ???????
— Neil Trigg (@Trigg47) February 17, 2019
No Thomas Young !?
— james edward ringer (@stingerginger66) February 21, 2019
Thomas Young gotta be wondering what more he needs to do to get in that side
— Ed Morris (@EdMorris6) February 21, 2019
— Nathan Parker (@parkern1996) February 21, 2019
Warren Gatland really has no faith or interest in Thomas Young.. as Wasps fan I admit I'm slightly biased but honestly what does that boy have to do?!
— Guy Woodeson (@GuyWoodeson) February 21, 2019
Elsewhere, the selection of Gareth Anscombe ahead of Dan Biggar is another hot topic amongst Welsh fans. Anscombe is regarded as the more exciting option at 10, but it seems many would prefer the dependability of Biggar for such a huge test.
Biggar’s kicking may be crucial against England, and the Northampton fly-half has a track record of kicking points under pressure.
This is what the fans had to say:
Anscombe over Biggar?! As for the bench…… doesn’t look great.
— GalDavies (@GalDavies1986) February 21, 2019
Hope I am wrong but I don't see Anscombe as a big game player. With no Halfpenny to keep the board ticking over Biggar for me was by far the obvious choice. As said, hope I am wrong
— RedDragon77 (@dragon77_red) February 21, 2019
Anscombe the weak link
— Dean Young (@Dean10Young) February 21, 2019
don’t think starting Anscombe is the right call at all but have to wait and see ?
— luc (@lucocarter) February 21, 2019
In what is traditionally a very tight match, particularly at the Principality Stadium, the bench will be crucial. The Wales fans do not seem to have a lot of confidence in their bench for this Saturday, and this could be one of the determining factors in deciding the Championship.
Watch: Wales head coach Warren Gatland explains his selections
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.