'Manna from heaven': Have Wales found their RWC 2023 flyhalf?
Most of the talk following Wales’ 40-24 win over England in Round 3 of the Six Nations focussed on some questionable refereeing decisions made by Frenchman Pascal Gauzere but there was another, most positive story to emerge from the result.
Wales replacement flyhalf Callum Sheedy entered the game in the 45th minute for Dan Biggar and while Biggar’s experience and poise had helped Wales take a 17-14 lead, it was Sheedy’s ability to challenge the line and nail his kicks at goal that got Wales home.
Now, many are calling for Sheedy to be handed the No 10 jersey for Wales’ next encounter, with an eye towards the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
Having taken a 15-6 lead on the back of some questionable tries awarded by Gauzere, England fought back to bring themselves within touching distance of their opposition – and the momentum was very much in their favour.
The England backs made metres with every midfield carry while the forwards were doing their part to fight their way up the park. Were it not for some ill-discipline, England could have built an insurmountable lead.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 27, 2021
Then Bristol Bears flyhalf Sheedy arrived on the scene, and suddenly England’s momentum slowed. First, halfback Kieran Hardy scored a cheeky try from a quick tap, with Sheedy nailing the extras, before he was called upon to keep the clock ticking over with some expertly taken penalty shots.
He also helped keep the English defence honest, challenging the line instead of simply asking those around him to make the big moves.
Come the end of the game, Sheedy had notched up 13 points and attracted widespread praise.
Fans took to Twitter to applaud the composed and calculated display from the 25-year-old.
Callum Sheedy was absolutely class when he came on today with ball in hand and showed big spuds to kick the goals to put Wales ahead in the last 15 minutes!
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) February 27, 2021
So much love for Callum Sheedy on my time line – that says as much about the bloke as the rugby player.
— John Evely (@JohnEvely_BPost) February 27, 2021
2/2 England didn’t lose because two dodgy try decisions went against them. They lost because of their chronic indiscipline – 40 penalties conceded in 3 matches including 14 tonight. Manna from heaven for Callum Sheedy @BristolBears. Now he’s a Triple Crown winner. Outstanding.
— Peter Jackson (@JackoRugby) February 27, 2021
Wayne Pivac been under the cosh for the majority of his Welsh tenure. Time to give him credit. Most complete Welsh performance for some time. Kieran Hardy and Callum Sheedy did themselves no harm as 9 and 10 for France 2023.
— Owain Jones (@OwainJTJones) February 27, 2021
Callum Sheedy looking like the most natural successor to the 10 shirt in recent years.
— Brekkie (@Brekkietweets) February 27, 2021
#WALvENG Callum Sheedy made it all look quite easy! Do things you’re good at, make decisions based on what you see/feel and be positive. Didn’t look encumbered in any way by too much game plan. Can’t help but feel there’s a contrast there #6Nations
— David Cheng (@DavidCheng1978) February 27, 2021
The superb kicking performance – under immense pressure – by Callum Sheedy will sadly be overshadowed by the disputed tries. He was brilliant after he came on with ball in hand and with the boot. #WALvENG #ENGvWAL #GuinnessSixNations @simonrug @samwarburton_ @JiffyRugby
— Gareth Lewis ??????? (@Gareth_Lewis_) February 27, 2021
Really impressed with Callum Sheedy off the bench. I really think Pivac should start Sheedy against Italy. We all know what Dan Biggar can do, it’s time to see what Callum Sheedy can do as a starting test match 10 #WALvENG
— Jamie Phillips (@JNPhillips4) February 27, 2021
Callum Sheedy a different beast from the tee tonight compared to Murrayfield.
Three massive penalties after England drew level at 24-24 with 18 mins remaining.
— Matthew Southcombe (@MattSouth7) February 27, 2021
Callum Sheedy came on and had a stormer for Wales today.ADVERTISEMENT
Last season he was probably the form fly half in the Premiership alongside Joe Simmonds.
It just shows how much Premiership form can in fact be counted on.
— RugbyInsideLine (@RugbyInsideLine) February 27, 2021
Thought that was a remarkable performance by Callum Sheedy today. Bossing it with the Premiership leaders, and bossing it at the business-end of Wales v England in just his 7th Test. Some talent.
— Andrew Baldock (@balders2) February 27, 2021
Wales’ next match comes in two weeks’ time when the team will travel to Italy to face the Six Nations cellar-dwellers.
The final-round match between Wales and France in Paris could decide the competition winners, with both nations currently undefeated.
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