Welsh coach rejects Telfer claims the Welsh are 'lazy'
Published 29/01/2013 | 16:09
THE coach entrusted with helping to develop Wales' next generation of Test match talent has dismissed comments by former Scotland boss Jim Telfer that Welsh players are "lazy".
Telfer's reported remarks on varied subjects today caused a stir both sides of the Severn Bridge with his criticism of Welsh and English players.
Speaking about Wales, the ex-British and Irish Lions forwards guru told the Daily Mail: "Wales is not an easy country to coach because, basically, the Welsh are lazy.
"Coaching them, playing against and with them, I realised they had reached the top because they were the cream and had not necessarily worked all that hard to get there."
But Wales Under-20s coach Danny Wilson countered Telfer's claims as he continued preparing his squad for their Six Nations campaign that starts later this week.
"It is the mirror opposite of those comments, basically," Wilson said. "I think you can only comment on those things if you have actually witnessed them.
"I have witnessed at first hand the amount of work these players put into the game and, if allowed, they would train every minute of every day.
"It is our job as a national set-up and as a regional set-up to make sure that doesn't happen and that these players don't get burnt out.
"There is a great system in place at the moment, and if we didn't have that I know that the players would go out and train with their regions in the morning, with us in the afternoon or evening and become burnt out. There is no doubt about that.
"Their attitude, or at least the boys I have worked with, is absolutely superb. They are a very professional bunch."
Wales' template for success throughout all age grades is firmly in place.
The senior squad, for instance, won widespread acclaim for being among the fittest teams at the 2011 World Cup - where they reached the semi-finals - and then five months later went on to be crowned Six Nations champions in Grand Slam fashion.
Wales' regular and punishing training trips to Poland have also been well-documented, with their use of cryotherapy chambers - a facility where players are subjected to temperatures of around -150C to help speed up recovery time between training sessions and also prevent inflammation - a proven success.
Immediately after games - win or lose - the Wales players leave the dressing room to use the squad's portable cryotherapy chamber before fulfilling their post-match media commitments.
It is that detailed attention to fitness and preparation which has helped them win two Six Nations titles and Grand Slams in five seasons under Warren Gatland, and produced a best World Cup performance since 1987.
Meanwhile, preparations for this season's Six Nations opener against Ireland continued today, with Wales looking to claim a first victory at the expense of another Test-playing nation since last season's Grand Slam-clinching victory over France.
One of the problem areas during a run of four successive autumn defeats this season was a lack of tries, with just three scored during those games.
And Wales attack coach Mark Jones said: "There was no doubt the boys wouldn't have attacked as they would have liked in the autumn, but previous to that Wales had played some great rugby.
"It is definitely something that (interim head coach) Rob Howley is keen to return to, that attacking brand of rugby where we are challenging defences all the time.
"We have got some great options to be able to do that."
Howley is due to name his starting line-up for the Ireland clash on Thursday, with Dan Biggar expected to replace injured fly-half Rhys Priestland and Ospreys pair Ryan Jones and Ian Evans possibly forging Wales' second-row partnership.