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The players set to profit from Wales' new gameplan

With the Pivac era now a distant memory, Warren Gatland has a rich seam of talent to select from in the Six Nations

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'He's just electric to watch, I love playing with him'

By PA
(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Jamie Ritchie paid tribute to electric Darcy Graham after his Edinburgh teammate scored a stunning hat-trick in an emphatic 52-29 Scotland triumph over Argentina. The 25-year-old winger made it 16 tries in 33 caps with his treble as the Scots rounded off their autumn internationals on a high note at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.

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“Darcy is on fire,” said Scotland captain Ritchie about Graham. “He is playing with such confidence. Whenever he has got anyone one on one, I just expect him to beat them. He is so quick off the mark and so quick at changing direction. He is also deceptively strong for his size. That in a package is awesome. He is just electric to watch. I love playing with him.”

Scotland ended a mixed autumn series with an impressive eight-try victory over an undisciplined Argentina side who had Marcos Kremer sent off in the first half and three others sin-binned in the second. The Scots won two and lost two of their four Tests as they ended 2022 with five wins and seven defeats.

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“We felt something has been building,” said Ritchie. “We were close in the Australia and New Zealand games. We felt we played reasonably well in those games and didn’t quite get over the line but against Argentina, we put a bit more together and it felt like it clicked, which is good. We want to set those types of performances as a baseline for us.

“It’s been a mixed (autumn) campaign. Results aside, I have been really proud of how we have prepared for games and the messaging around it. We have generally stuck to our guns with regard to what we wanted to do.

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“Before the Australia game, we spoke about fighting to get moments back (during adverse periods) and we did that. Before the New Zealand game, we spoke about being courageous and we did that. And against Argentina, we spoke about being relentless and we put 50 points on the board, so I’m really pleased with that.”

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Despite Graham’s treble, it was stand-off Finn Russell who stole the headlines on Saturday with a magnificent display. Head coach Gregor Townsend confirmed afterwards that the 30-year-old is now back in possession of the No10 jersey ahead of the Six Nations despite being omitted from the original squad named for the autumn series last month.

“The last two games he has shown a real maturity and calmness in the way he has played and he has got us going,” said Ritchie. “It’s been brilliant to see.”

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