Planet Rugby

Coombs debut receives praise

04th February 2013 09:08


Andrew Coombs Wales v Scotland 2013

Debutant: Andrew Coombs

Wales lock Andrew Coombs drew praise from forwards coach Robin McBryde after an assured performance on debut against Ireland.

Much had been feared about Wales ability at the lineout given the absence of a number of first team regulars, including Alun Wyn Jones and Luke Charteris, but Coombs showed great promise on debut with an assured performance both at the set-piece and in the loose.

"He has really put a marker down for France and that is what you want your players to do, you hand them an opportunity and they grasp it with both hands," said McBryde to the Western Telegraph.

"There's always the question of whether a player can make the step up from regional rugby, but speaking to his coaches, Dragons team-mates and to Andrew himself made it clear what type of character he is.

"And he didn't let the occasion get to him, he played exactly as he has for the Dragons and seemed comfortable in the Test environment. His set-piece work was accurate, he got around the park with ball in hand, his work rate was exceptional and he was effective in defence. He was outstanding and I am thrilled for him."

"Justin will always be pushing but we have also got to bear in mind what Sam brings to the team," said McBryde.

"Would we be completely fair to Sam if we were to play him at six? That's the dilemma and it's important to get that balance, and it's not just all about the breakdown.

"France are also completely different from Ireland in how they approach the game, so there is plenty to chew on."

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