Wales further complimented their Commonwealth Games preparation last weekend; taking on a higher ranked team and future Olympic Games hosts France in a tough three match test series held in Antibes, on the Cote d’Azur. Although it was an unfamiliar location for international matches, it was superbly organised by the club and federation nonetheless; offering up a terrific opportunity to showcase the game.
Fresh from their two match test series against international big guns Spain, Wales have taken away some key learnings from their second international series of the year!
Time together in France provided the squad a stage to try out some new playing systems and combinations, with Hywel Jones (previous U18 Boys Captain) and Jack Tranter picking up their 1st caps as seniors. With limited international series available this year prior to the games, these last two series gave the men’s management team the perfect opportunity to attempt new combinations in a pressurised environment.
Balancing the disappointment of the match results with the positives of the overall experience, Head Coach for Wales Men, Zak Jones told us:
Even though it was a disappointing test series in terms of the results, a great deal of progress was made, and some very important learning achieved. All three matches were very tight and in the balance until the final few minutes, which once again highlighted the tiny margins between winning and losing at this level. Our discipline and ball handling cost us at times and these are areas we will need to rectify as we move forward. However, as well as providing us with more time together, the two series have acted as important building blocks in our preparation and have also helped us to clearly identify the key areas that we will need to work on over the next couple of months to be ready to go when we hit the Gold Coast
- France 4 – 0 Wales
- France 1 – 0 Wales
- France 2 – 0 Wales
During the final match against France, Dale Hutchinson secured his 50th cap for Wales.