In the world of rugby, where anticipation and excitement are soaring for the Rugby World Cup 2023, Warren Gatland, the charismatic coach of Wales, has made one thing abundantly clear: his priority is to make Wales “a bloody hard team to beat” in this prestigious tournament.
Gatland, known for his straightforward approach to the game, is not one to dwell on future possibilities. He’s a “here and now person,” as he puts it. With the Rugby World Cup 2023 in full swing, Gatland’s immediate focus is on the upcoming clash against Portugal at the Stade de Nice on Saturday, 16th September, with the kick-off set for 16:45 BST. The anticipation is palpable, and the coverage is extensive, from live radio broadcasts on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, and BBC Radio 5 Live to live text commentary on the Sport News Center website and app.
This game against Portugal presents a new-look Wales side led by Dewi Lake, with only Taulupe Faletau and Louis Rees-Zammit surviving from the victorious encounter against Fiji. Gatland’s philosophy is simple: “If we’re a hard team to beat, then things can happen for you.” He firmly believes that this Welsh team, despite the changes, is capable of achieving something special.
Wales started their campaign on a high note, securing the maximum five points in their opening game against Bordeaux. With Portugal being relatively new to the World Cup scene, Wales is the favorite going into this match. However, Gatland sees this as an opportunity for the new-look squad to “stake a claim” for their place in the team, especially with a challenging match against Australia looming in Pool C.
Gatland emphasizes that players need to know that a good performance in this game can earn them a spot for the crucial Australia match. It’s a make-or-break situation for many, and the pressure is on.
In terms of team selection, Gatland explains why Faletau retains his place, highlighting that he missed the World Cup warm-up games and tends to improve with more game time. As for Rees-Zammit, Gatland praises his recent form, calling him “fantastic in the last five or six weeks.”
Reflecting on their previous match against Fiji, Gatland acknowledges the talk about Fiji’s unluckiness but mentions that there were aspects of the game where Wales felt things were missed as well. The referees’ feedback has provided clarity, and the focus now is entirely on Portugal.
Portugal, who had to wait an extra week for their tournament opener, pose a similar challenge to Fiji, according to Gatland. They play an exciting brand of rugby, akin to Fiji’s style, making preparations quite similar. Gatland looks forward to another thrilling game of rugby, hoping to deliver an exciting spectacle for the fans.
The looming clash against Australia is already being dubbed the key game for Wales in progressing out of Pool C. Still, Gatland emphasizes the importance of taking one game at a time. He speaks passionately about the unity and dedication of the players, the honor of representing their country, and the importance of getting the basics right.
In conclusion, Warren Gatland’s approach for the Rugby World Cup 2023 is clear and resolute: Wales must be a formidable force that’s exceptionally hard to beat. With a focus on each game as it comes and a belief in the team’s ability, Gatland and Wales aim to make their mark on this tournament and, who knows, perhaps make it all the way to the final. The journey has just begun, and rugby fans are in for an exhilarating ride.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Rugby World Cup 2023
What is Warren Gatland’s primary focus for Rugby World Cup 2023?
Warren Gatland’s primary focus for Rugby World Cup 2023 is to make Wales “a bloody hard team to beat” in the tournament.
When and where is Wales playing against Portugal in the Rugby World Cup 2023?
Wales is playing against Portugal in the Rugby World Cup 2023 on Saturday, 16th September, at the Stade de Nice, with a kick-off scheduled for 16:45 BST.
How can I follow the coverage of Wales vs. Portugal in the Rugby World Cup 2023?
You can follow the coverage of Wales vs. Portugal in the Rugby World Cup 2023 through live broadcasts on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, and BBC Radio 5 Live. Additionally, there is live text commentary available on the Sport News Center website and app.
Who leads the new-look Wales side in the game against Portugal?
Dewi Lake leads the new-look Wales side in the game against Portugal.
Which players from the previous game against Fiji are still part of the Wales lineup for the Portugal match?
Only Taulupe Faletau and Louis Rees-Zammit are the survivors from the previous game against Fiji in the Wales lineup for the match against Portugal.
Why is Taulupe Faletau retaining his place in the Wales lineup?
Taulupe Faletau is retaining his place in the Wales lineup because he missed the World Cup warm-up games, and Warren Gatland believes he is a player who improves with more game time.
What is Warren Gatland’s approach to the Rugby World Cup 2023 in terms of team selection?
Warren Gatland’s approach to the Rugby World Cup 2023 in terms of team selection is that players need to perform well in the Portugal match to be considered for selection in the crucial match against Australia in Pool C.
How does Warren Gatland view Portugal as opponents in the Rugby World Cup 2023?
Warren Gatland describes Portugal as a “similar version of Fiji.” They play an expansive style of rugby and are seen as exciting opponents.
What is the key message Warren Gatland emphasizes regarding Wales’ approach to the Rugby World Cup 2023?
Warren Gatland emphasizes that Wales is taking the tournament one game at a time, with a strong focus on being a tough team to beat. The unity, passion, and dedication of the players are crucial elements in their approach.
What are Warren Gatland’s aspirations for Wales in the Rugby World Cup 2023?
Warren Gatland aspires for Wales to make a significant impact in the Rugby World Cup 2023, potentially reaching the final. He believes that with the right preparation, dedication, and unity, Wales can go a long way in the tournament.