Davies excited by Wales’ new style

Davies excited by Wales’ new style

Jonathan Davies says Wales are looking to use the 2017 end-of-year Tests to kick-start their countdown to the Rugby World Cup in Japan in two years’ time.

And the Scarlets centre who was voted the player of the series for the British & Irish Lions in their drawn series with the All Blacks in the summer is excited at the prospect of Wales bringing a new style to their performances against Australia, Georgia, New Zealand and South Africa.

“We want to get our new style going and get tempo into our game,” Davies told the Welsh Rugby Union’s official website.

“The philosophy of how we want to play means we want to get our best athletes on the ball and play with tempo.

“Once the ball is slowed down these days defences get on top so easily. It’s about making sure the speed of ruck and ball playing is at pace.

“A big thing for us is having momentum and being able to fill the field. Sometimes we get caught up with having one side of the field overloaded and that makes it easy to defend.

“We need to make sure that the whole field is used to attack from. When you look at New Zealand their front five are all very comfortable on the ball and that gives them another dynamic and another dimension to their attack.

“Rob Evans has come through with ball in hand and Samson Lee has come on. To have those players put in a pass, or be capable of changing the point of attack, whereas traditionally a prop would just carry if he caught the ball, is huge.

“It is just a basic skill and we do a lot of work on that after training at the Scarlets and here with Wales. You have to be comfortable with the ball in your hands and not just hit rucks – these days you have to be a complete player.

“It is no good if you go through 20 phases and you are still on the half-way line and haven’t gone anywhere. You have to be dynamic with the ball and build momentum. It is a big thing in rugby these days being able to keep the ball because the ball in play time is much higher.

“With 2019 just around the corner a good Autumn would propel us confidently into the Six Nations and help us to build momentum. We are looking for some big results in this campaign and it all starts with Australia.

“Yes, we haven’t beaten them for a long time, but with the talent we’ve got in this squad we can be very competitive and get the results we want. Traditionally we have been slow starters in the Autumn and have got better as the series goes on – our sole focus is making sure we get this week right and we hit the ground running in week one.

“We don’t want to wait until week two or three to really hit our straps. It’s a big ask, but the boys have reacted well in training and have really trained hard.”

The Wallabies will arrive boosted by their Bledisloe Cup win over New Zealand and buoyed by a nine-try demolition of Japan at the weekend. They will be seeking a 13th successive win over Wales and, as ever, won’t be short on confidence or strike power, even without Israel Folau in their side.

“If you look back over the last couple of years, there has been disappointment after the Australian games,” added Davies.

“It is a challenge for us to make sure that we get the work done on and off the field that’s needed to make sure we are prepared and up to speed.

“The advantage that the teams have coming over here is that they have just come off a tournament and have been together for months. It is difficult for us and we need to make sure we keep building.

“We’ve been very close to beating them a few times, but they are a quality team and you have to give them credit. They are very smart and they take their opportunities.

“If you look at last year’s game, they created three or four chances and they scored. For us, it’s making sure that we are defensively all on the same page and make sure we create pressure and put them under pressure.

“If you are too passive, these southern hemisphere teams just pick you off. The big thing for us is creating that pressure.”

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