Warren Gatland’s decision to overlook Grand Slam-winning prop Rob Evans in favour of one-cap Rhys Carré has shocked Wales fans on social media.
Evans, alongside his Scarlets teammate Samson Lee, was omitted from the World Cup squad yesterday, despite both players being mainstays in the Wales team over the last few years.
Many seem to understand why Lee may have missed out, as Gatland is only taking two tightheads, Tomas Francis and Dillon Lewis, with Francis establishing himself as a consistent starter in red. On the other hand, very few can understand the reasoning behind Evans’ absence.
Gatland has said that there were durability issues surrounding the Scarlets duo, especially as Evans came into the training camp injured, but it has still been deemed a risk nonetheless.
The 35-cap Evans is a strong scrummager and powerful in the loose, with some fans regarding him as being one of the best looseheads in the world. The consensus on Twitter seems to be that he is superior to Nicky Smith, and it was only a matter of months ago that he was ahead of him as the first choice loosehead in the Grand Slam winning campaign.
Meanwhile, the decision to select the Saracens-bound Carré is seen as a gamble, particularly as he has only ever started three games for the Cardiff Blues, and only made his debut on Saturday in a game where Wales’ scrum was comprehensively second best. The 21-year-old clearly has great potential, but it is a decision that very few saw Gatland taking.
This is what has been said:
So he doesnt play Rob and Samson until yesterday then drops them? Massive calls especially Rob. Good for Scarlets though to have the best loose head in Wales available to play.
— mark thomas (@supertaf99) September 1, 2019
Crazy decision not to go with Rob Evans. Crazy.
As an @IrishRugby Supporter I can tell you that he looks to me as one of the finest loose heads in the world.
— Jason Shiels (@jasonshiels) September 1, 2019
No Rob Evans? I can kind of understand Samson Lee considering Francis is the undoubted starter and Lewis has proven to be decent at international level. It is a bit of risk taking Rhys Carre ahead of Evans considering he struggled a bit against Ireland.
— Christian Evans (@MrEvansSports) September 1, 2019
Surprised at Carre in the squad. First cap on weekend. Appreciate first cap but didn’t do anything IMHO that you would think it put him on the plane, especially at the expense of Rob Evans. Big big call https://t.co/UKs53oqVKg
— Howell Jones (@Jones_No6) September 1, 2019
Still can’t believe Rob Evans got overlooked for for the World Cup. One of our best during the six nations. The only plus is he’ll be available for the Scarlets but I’m still amazed he’s not on the squad. You should be there man @Revsprop1
— ??????? LIVE??WIRE ??????? (@aero_zeppelin) September 1, 2019
Is there a single Welsh rugby supporter who would put Wyn Jones ahead of Rob Evans?
Has he upset Gatland somehow?
— Philip Davies #FBPE ??????? (@pdss9) September 1, 2019
Have to really feel for Rob Evans, our best prop by a country mile & been excellent for both club & country over the last couple years. Massively poor decision by Gatland. Rhys Carre is a good player but he's done nothing to warrant being selected over Rob. #RWC2019 #Wales
— Gavin Barrett (@Gavin_Introbiz) September 1, 2019
Fitness is always an issue when it comes to the World Cup, and with a schedule that includes a six-day turnaround between playing Georgia and Australia, carrying two players in Evans and Lee that may not be 100% could put a huge strain on the squad.
But both players featured last Saturday against Ireland at the Principality Stadium, which suggests they were match fit, but have obviously not done enough over the past few months to show they are ready for the rigours of the World Cup.
Rugby World Cup City Guide
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