Tomos Williams must be given a run within the Wales No. 9 jersey, beginning with subsequent Saturday’s showdown towards New Zealand.
That’s the decision of former Lions scrum-half Mike Phillips, as he seems to be forward to the autumn worldwide marketing campaign, which additionally sees South Africa, Australia and Fiji heading to the Principality Stadium.
Cardiff’s Williams is vying with Gareth Davies and Kieran Hardy for the half-back berth inside Wayne Pivac’s squad.
They’ve all had run-outs within the place during the last yr or so, together with the likes of Rhys Webb and Lloyd Williams, amid one thing of a revolving door scenario.
Now Phillips, who received 94 caps for Wales, feels the time has come to choose one participant at No. 9 – and he feels that man ought to be Tomos Williams.
“They’ve obtained to resolve who’s their primary 9,” he mentioned.
“That’s very important for me as a result of it’s a place which has modified lots, typically via damage.
“It’s a place during the last two years that has modified nearly each recreation.
“I’d go for Tomos Williams and keep on with him as nicely.
“His fundamental abilities are there as a 9, he can management issues, make breaks and he’s obtained that little bit of edge about him.
“We have now obtained depth there. Kieran Hardy was nice final yr, he’s very slick and goes to be excellent. We all know Gareth Davies can rating from anyplace.
“However I feel they should give Tomos a run of video games. He’s been unlucky with damage and it will be good to see him settle in as a result of we’d like somebody as an out-and-out first-choice earlier than the World Cup to manage issues.”
Wales’ opening opponents, New Zealand, Phillips believes they are often obtained at and overwhelmed, with self-belief the important thing.
“It does get ingrained in you that they’re such a power,” he mentioned.
“They’re greater than a rugby crew in some ways. They’re essentially the most profitable crew on the planet.
“They’re a model and you might be up towards every thing. You’ve actually obtained to be in your A recreation and the mindset has obtained to be no doubt that we’re going to win.
“Perhaps that perception has not been there previously.
“Maybe we’ve been too good at instances and proven an excessive amount of respect.
“I feel that win will come, hopefully with the arrogance Pivac has instilled in them and the model of rugby they wish to play.
“Eire have performed nicely towards New Zealand and overwhelmed them. They’re a beatable facet, so why can’t Wales do it?
“They made numerous errors towards South Africa. There have been numerous dropped balls and so they look a little bit of a younger facet.
“Perhaps they are often obtained at.
“They’re an impressive crew and it’s by no means going to be straightforward, however the perception is on this youthful era of Welsh gamers.
“They received the Six Nations and so they’ve obtained this mindset of ‘why not?’ They’re only a rugby crew.
“They must be environment friendly in each method and on the ball, however who is aware of what can occur.
“We’ve obtained gamers who wish to carry out, we’re in Cardiff with a full home and a buzzing ambiance.”
With Wales depleted by accidents and the unavailability of England-based gamers, they’re given little probability of recording a primary win over the All Blacks since 1953.
On that, Phillips – whose autobiography has simply been printed – says: “I suppose the stress might be off in some methods for the primary recreation.
“I’m actually excited that when all of the gamers can be found Wales have gotten a fantastic, actually thrilling squad.
“I’ve been delighted with their success and the way in which they wish to play the sport. We’ve obtained depth in so many positions.
“It’s actually thrilling two years out from a World Cup and it’s an opportunity for some gamers to make their method into that crew. All of it seems to be good for the long run to me.”
He added: “Our again three is harmful, we’ve obtained depth and choices at centre – ball gamers and distributors.
“We’ve obtained depth at 10 and 9 and an array of back-rowers.
“Adam Beard got here to the fore for the Lions, which is nice as that’s a place maybe we actually must strengthen.
“He was excellent, along with his abilities. Within the final Six Nations he made some pretty passes and that’s the sport they wish to play.
“They wish to play a large recreation and when you’ve gotten forwards who can take it to the road and pull the ball again the defence has to take a seat on its heels a bit and that creates area additional out.
“The areas get a tough trip and there definitely must be enchancment there, however after we get collectively as a Welsh squad it’s at all times thrilling and issues can occur.”
Phillips performed a few matches beneath Pivac on the Scarlets, answering a scrum-half SOS name, so what does he make of his method to the sport?
“It was nice to see his philosophies,” he mentioned.
“I liked his manner, his chat, and when he does ultimately go away I feel he’ll go away Welsh rugby in a fantastic place, with the way in which he needs to up-skill everybody and play this entertaining rugby.”
Mike Phillips: Half Truths, printed by Attain Sport, is on sale now. Save 25% at reachsportshop.com.