Wales squad player ratings for the Six Nations

CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 16: Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones and team mates celebrate with the Championship trophy after their Grand Slam win after the Guinness Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at Principality Stadium on March 16, 2019 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Warren Gatland initially named a 39-man squad for this tournament but, in the end, he only used 31 players – exactly the amount he will have available to him in at the Rugby World Cup. Here are the player ratings for those involved.

Front row:

Rob Evans – 8

Good in the scrum, good in the loose, good at the breakdown. Wales’ physicality was a big part of this Grand Slam and he played his part well. Looked to be enjoying himself throughout.

Wyn Jones – 5

Didn’t get many chances but put in his tackles and played his part in the comeback against France. Reliable in the scrum.

Nicky Smith – 7

Keeping Rob Evans on his toes with his performances. Like most of this Welsh squad, he chipped in at the breakdown. Made 10 tackles in 27 minutes against Ireland.

Elliot Dee – 6

A reliable replacement for Ken Owens at hooker and carried well. Not challenging for a starting spot, however.

Ryan Elias – 5

Little chance to impress but no mistakes. Familiarity with his Scarlets team-mates means he can be trusted to slot in.

Ken Owens – 8

Lineout has been a big weakness throughout the tournament, although it improved against Ireland. Excellent in every other aspect and one of the many leaders in this side. Would be a huge loss.

Tomas Francis – 7

Has improved so much since his early games for Wales. Anchored the scrum well and slowed down opposition ball at the breakdown. Could be a bigger carrying threat.

Samson Lee – 6

Continues to struggle with injury and has now lost his starting berth to Francis. Firm in the scrum but not destructive.

Dillon Lewis – 6

Trusted to come on whether Wales were chasing a game or closing it out. Another who contributes to Wales’ breakdown efforts.

Back five:

Jake Ball – 6

Injuries and the emergence of Adam Beard curtailed his minutes but he enjoyed some success on the gainline and at the lineout.

Adam Beard – 7

Has never lost a game for Wales. Improved throughout the tournament and was excellent against Ireland. Looks to have a bright future.

Cory Hill – 7

Played well against England in his only full game and ran a lovely line for his try. Membership of the leadership group in a squad with such experience shows the respect he is held in.

Alun-Wyn Jones – 10

Superb in every aspect of the game. There isn’t a team in the world that wouldn’t be improved by his addition. Would be an unthinkable loss if he were to get injured.

Ross Moriarty – 7

Constantly appears on the edge but stayed on the right side of the line and was excellent at the back of the scrum. Missed a few tackles.

Josh Navidi – 8

Ridiculous tackle count: 83 made, 4 missed. He also carried well, made 4 turnovers, and was effective on the gainline. Didn’t have a bad game.

Justin Tipuric – 8

Very little of the flashy stuff that we love but did the hard work brilliantly in every game. Appeared to be everywhere against Ireland and helped disrupt their mauls well.

Aaron Wainwright – 7

Didn’t get the chance to shine as he did in the autumn although he did make 12 tackles in 9 minutes against Ireland. Another youngster trusted to come on in tight games.

Thomas Young – 6

Shows the strength in depth Wales have in the back-row that one of the best opensides in the Gallagher Premiership can barely get in the door. Played very well against Italy but couldn’t do enough to get another game. Nobody will be worried if he gets a late summons, however.

Halfbacks:

Aled Davies – 5

Reliable but not particularly memorable. If Rhys Webb somehow gets back into the squad, he seems the most vulnerable scrum-half.

Gareth Davies – 7

Wales’ use of pick and go so often limited his obvious threat in attack but did what was asked of him well and played a big role in defence. Chips in at the breakdown like a forward but needs to keep his head.

Tomos Williams – 6

Scored on his Six Nations debut and helped spark the Welsh comeback in Paris. Injured thereafter but appears to have what it takes.

Gareth Anscombe – 8

Came of age in Cardiff against Ireland with a superb performance. Managed Wales’ multi-phase attack, kicked well, and kept his head. Appears to have made the starting jersey his.

Dan Biggar – 8

Not brilliant against Italy but was outstanding against England and Ireland. Catch and pass for Adams’ try against England was superb. What a player to have coming off the bench.

Backs:

Jonathan Davies – 9

Best outside centre in the world. Didn’t get to show his stuff in attack but this Grand Slam was won on defence and he is the defensive captain.

Hadleigh Parkes – 8

Might not always catch the eye but his ability to do the basics well releases the players around him and so rarely makes mistakes. His try-saving tackle on Stockdale epitomised what he offers.

Owen Watkin – 6

Reliable deputy with nice footwork. Didn’t miss a tackle and looked comfortable at this level.

Hallam Amos – 5

Only got 14 minutes and is fighting for a RWC squad place. Talented player who needs to push his case in the Pro14 now.

Jonah Holmes – 5

Did nothing wrong and chipped in with some turnovers of his own but there is enough depth in the back three now that he needed to do more. Will benefit from having been with the squad.

George North – 7

Worked hard against France to get his tries although he didn’t offer much attacking threat in the other games. His defence has improved significantly, however, and he continues to scare defences.

Liam Williams – 9

Brilliant in attack and defence. His performance against England will give any player shaping to kick against Wales pause. Has to start.

Josh Adams – 9

Came into the tournament as a solid back-three player who could be trusted while Halfpenny was out. Finishes as one of the players of the tournament. Works hard and deserves the acclaim.

Did not play:

Leon Brown, Seb Davies, Josh Turnbull, Jarrod Evans, Rhys Patchell, Scott Williams, Steffan Evans, Leigh Halfpenny

Unavailable:

Taulupe Faletau, Rhys Webb

What do you think about these player ratings? Let us know in the comments below.

Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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