James questions Gatland’s Wales

Date published: November 27 2014

Former Wales and British and Irish Lions wing Dafydd James believes head coach Warren Gatland may have hit a plateau with the team.

Former Wales and British and Irish Lions wing Dafydd James believes head coach Warren Gatland might have hit a plateau with the squad.

James, who won 48 caps for his country, has watched the Welsh once again fall to Australia and New Zealand in November’s internationals.

And while he doesn’t think they should make any coaching changes before the 2015 World Cup, he has his doubts about where Wales are heading.

“We can’t make radical changes at this stage,” said the 2001 Lions wing, speaking to BBC Sport.

“The World Cup is looming. You’ve got to stick with Gatland for the time being but he’s possibly taken us as far as we can [go].”

The situation with Wales is a tough one as while they seem capable of defeating the southern hemisphere trio, their record against them is worrying with a World Cup fast approaching.

“He certainly is under pressure and his answer to the question just said it all really. One victory against southern hemisphere sides in 27 games, so he is under pressure,” James said on the BBC’s Radio Wales Sport programme.

“Every game is a pressure game. But I think they are sweating a little bit, the backroom staff, they thought they could have snuck a win [against New Zealand] and up until 65 minutes they were in the running.

“We threw a lot at New Zealand, it was a World Cup final if you want for lack of a better description and the boys are going to be drained mentally and physically.”

He added: “One more hurdle, I think it’s probably one too far but you never know.”

“The South Africans are in a little bit of disarray, but they’ve brought in Willie le Roux who is a box of tricks and could pose a lot of problems. It’ll be a tough afternoon.

“What Wales need to do is consolidate, bring in a couple of fresh players, have a plan B because it doesn’t appear like we have got one, and keep persevering.”