Warren Gatland says Barbarians game was due to be Wales swansong
Wales vs Barbarians
2:45pm Saturday 30th November
Cardiff, principality Stadium
Warren Gatland has revealed his Cardiff reunite because the Barbarians’ head coach was proposed because his Wales swansong.
Gatland creates an emotional return to the Principality Stadium on Saturday following his powerful 12-year reign with Wales.
The 56-year-old ended after the Rugby World Cup and has been succeeded by his fellow New Zealander Wayne Pivac, who will take control of Wales for the first time against Gatland’s Barbarians.
“There have been a good deal of jokes flying around about the challenges that [Pivac] faces,” Gatland said.
“He wants a tiny bit of time to place his own character onto it along with his own imprint on the game, working together with all the other trainers, gelling together, which takes some time.
“This was why I felt it was very important to have this match. Originally, when I was informed about this match going ahead, the idea was that it was likely to be my final game in charge of Wales.
“I simply believed that it wasn’t right for this to happen. I was completed after the Rugby World Cup and it was a opportunity for your coaching team to find some time and to enter.
“This will give them a good chance to evaluate these players and help them construct for the Six Nations, and I just felt that was very important.
“Instead of the Barbarians requesting mepersonally, I had to ask the Barbarians if I could coach them contrary to Wales! It was significant for Wales and also for the new administration team also.”
Gatland joked he wanted to seeing sides having the final word on that specific issue with reference, the Principality Stadium roof left available.
But he said that he didn’t have any clue where the room is, saying someone would need to demonstrate the way.
Gatland enjoyed success as Wales coach after the humiliation of their 2007 World Cup when they failed to escape the group point.
Throughout his dozen years accountable for Wales attained 2 World Cup semi-finals and won three Grand Slams, four Six Nations titles.
“It was funny on Tuesday since I moved back into my own flat, which overlooks the training ground, and drove past while they were training,” Gatland said.
“I thought,’that is a bit weird’ so that I made certain I did not look out of the car window. It felt somewhat awkward.
“But it is a wonderful chance for me personally to say thank you for the lovers and the Welsh public for 12 brilliant years. It has been amazing.
“I really don’t believe I could lose really, either way. But we are here to play some football and we’re here to give a fantastic performance.
“The aggressive side comes from me over the next 48 hours, it’s about getting ourselves right.
“If those competitive juices begin to flow, it’s about providing a performance and hopefully the Barbarians winning.”
Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Tomos Williams; 1 Wyn Jones, two Ken Owens, 3 Dillon Lewis, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Adam Beard, 6 Aaron Shingler, seven Justin Tipuric (c), 8 Aaron Wainwright.
Replacements: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rob Evans, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Seb Davies, 20 Ollie Griffiths, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Owen Lane.
Barbarians: 15 Shaun Stevenson, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Cornal Hendricks, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Bryn Hall; 1 Campese Ma’afu, 2 Rory Best (c), 3 Wiehahn Herbst, 4 Luke Jones, 5 Tyler Ardron, 6 Pete Samu, seven Marco van Staden, 8 Josh Strauss.
Replacements: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Craig Millar, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 George Biagi, 20 Angus Cottrell, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Billy Meakes, 23 Matt Duffie.