Outside-half and full-back are two places where Wales has to find new talent, according to Warren Gatland.
Gatland is concerned about the lack of choices since Dan Biggar is quitting international rugby, Leigh Halfpenny is getting close to being 35, and Liam Williams and Gareth Anscombe are both unavailable for the Six Nations because they joined Japanese clubs.
In the future, Sam Costelow will be Wales’ top option at 10, and Louis Rees-Zammit might be moved to full-back for the Six Nations. But Gatland wants additional choices and isn’t afraid to put them to the test in front of a large audience.
Tom Rogers and Cai Evans were among the players who made up the inaugural World Cup training team, while emerging players like Jacob Beetham, Cameron Winnett, and Will Reed are well-regarded in the area. Ioan Lloyd, who recently joined the Scarlets from Bristol, may present challenge for Costelow on a regional and international level.
“We probably don’t have a lot of No 10s at the moment,” Gatland explained. We were quite impressed by Sam Costelow’s rapid development over the past few months, and we are very pleased about it. Although he still has a lot to learn, he will be an exceptional international player.
“The amount of effort he put into his game in France was absolutely astounding. Now that he is aware of the requirements and amount of work involved in being a professional athlete, he is more aware of what it takes.
“We need to discover some more 10s, and perhaps we’ll see some more fascinating players emerging from the regions. To expose them sooner rather than later, we might have to plunge them into the world of international rugby.
“The other position is full-back. Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams are two of our best full-backs from recent years. We are aware that Louis Rees-Zammit is a possibility for us, but we also need to explore other options to guarantee that our back three are made up of actual talent.
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Gatland once again made a point of praising one of his World Cup squad members, with the coach clearly impressed by young Dragons winger Rio Dyer.
He added: “Rio Dyer has been real quality for me. We have seen unbelievable growth in him over the last 12 months. He was great when he came on in the quarter-final.
“The amount of work he’s done, and the learning he has taken from every game, has been brilliant. He was someone who was so green when he first came into the side. He was learning game by game. I’ve seen progression in him not just as a rugby player, but as a professional athlete. He is definitely someone we are excited about for the future, but we need to find more players like that.”