Shane Williams – Six Nations preview

Six Nations shaping up to be a great tournament

Shane Williams

Shane Williams

The Six Nations is my favourite time of the year. Before the tournament begins, there is always such excitement and I can’t wait to see it all unfold.
I have learnt before that you should never write Wales off, but they do have a lot of injuries in key areas such as Alun Wyn Jones.
There are also a lot of youngsters who, I have no doubt will become real international players, but there might be a period of transition in between. Unlike your England or Ireland, Wales don’t always have the sheer number of players coming through.

The first game will be key
The first two games on the road (Ireland and Scotland) could be tough for Wales but if they could manage a result in Dublin, they could then go on and have a really successful Six Nations.
Can they beat Ireland? The first game, being away, will be a massive ask but maybe it is a good time to play them.
Wales will be fresh and it can sometimes take a team like Ireland a game or two to forge togetherness and momentum.
If Wales can win, it will give them huge confidence and it all makes for a really important first match.

Pressure, what pressure?
Wales might be the holders, but I don’t see the team under any pressure. If anything, a lot of people have been writing them off and so perhaps the pressure is actually off.
I am looking forward to seeing Louis Rees-Zammit who scored a great try for Gloucester at the weekend, which may be a nice way for him to go into the Six Nations.
I would also like Taine Basham to step up another level and I am also hoping Jac Morgan gets a chance. He’s a local lad to me, I went to school with his mum and played rugby with his dad. But he has also been doing fantastic with Ospreys.

Great Six Nations on the horizon
For pretty much every team in the Six Nations, they should be looking at a top three finish as a minimum.
But there are a lot of good teams this year. France are looking sharp, England have that strength in depth and Ireland are always consistent. Scotland have done well recently and have some real superstars in their ranks.
It all adds up to what should be a really great tournament and I can’t wait!