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Where Warren Gatland's Wales are poised to do the most damage

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Wales statement: Scott Baldwin called up for Six Nations

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Veteran hooker Scott Baldwin is looking to win his first Test cap in six years after he was called into the Wales Guinness Six Nations squad on Tuesday ahead of the February 4 opener at home to Ireland. Warren Gatland was left short a hooker following last weekend’s injury to Dewi Lake.

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A WRU statement read: “Scott Baldwin (Ospreys) has been called up to the Wales senior men’s squad for the 2023 Guinness Six Nations. He replaces Dewi Lake (Ospreys) who suffered a knee injury on club duty last Friday. The squad is preparing at the national training base in Hensol ahead of its first game against Ireland which will take place at a sold-out Principality Stadium in Cardiff on February 4.”

Lake had started for Ospreys in their Heineken Champions Cup win at Leicester but the first-half try-scorer later got injured and was replaced off the bench by Baldwin, the 34-year-old who won the last of his 34 Test caps for Wales six years ago versus Samoa in Apia.

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Baldwin exited the Ospreys in the summer of 2019, joining Harlequins and winning a Gallagher Premiership title with them in 2021. He then switched to Worcester before jumping at the chance to rejoin his Welsh region in February 2022. Eleven months later, he is now back with the Wales national team.

This development was confirmed seven days after Gatland had named four uncapped players – Keiran Williams, Mason Grady, Rhys Davies and Teddy Williams – in the 37-strong Wales squad that is being captained by Scarlets hooker Ken Owens.

Baldwin spoke candidly to RugbyPass in May 2021 about that gambling addiction that even had his attention the day he was to start for Wales at hooker in the 2015 World Cup quarter-final versus South Africa at Twickenham. “I remember the morning of the World Cup quarter-final. Looking back now it [gambling] was an excuse to take my mind off the game, to take my mind off my stresses and it would be a release for me,” he said.

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“I just remember the morning of the quarter-final I was on my phone gambling literally up until ten minutes before we left on the bus thinking ‘oh this is keeping me relaxed’ but actually it was probably the worst thing I could have been doing because consciously or subconsciously I’d be thinking about it 24/7.”

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RUGBYPASS+ Where Warren Gatland's Wales are poised to do the most damage Where Warren Gatland's Wales are poised to do the most damage
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