Ruddock keeps the faith

Wales head coach Mike Ruddock has challenged his squad to "dispel the demons" of last weekend's 47-13 defeat to England after naming an unchanged starting XV for Sunday's RBS 6 Nations Championship clash with Scotland. [more]

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Wales head coach Mike Ruddock has challenged his squad to "dispel the demons" of last weekend’s 47-13 defeat to England after naming an unchanged starting XV for Sunday’s RBS 6 Nations Championship clash with Scotland.

The only changes to the squad come on the bench, where Bath number eight Gareth Delve returns from a hamstring strain in place of Alix Popham and Cardiff scrum-half Mike Phillips comes in for Gareth Cooper, who dislocated his shoulder against England.

The Welsh camp did not believe the Twickenham scoreline was a fair reflection of their efforts and Ruddock has urged his men to bounce back with a win at the Millennium Stadium.

"The same 15 players have a chance to dispel the demons of that loss and show what they are really capable of," said Ruddock.

Just as we were confident we could win last week, we think these players have the talent to put on a show against Scotland and get us back where we belong – on a winning run.

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"The players we have at our disposal are capable of great things and we are maintaining our high standards of preparation in order to ensure that great things are achieved."

Although Scotland have not won on the road in seven RBS 6 Nations games, Ruddock is aware they will be determined to prove Sunday’s stunning victory over tournament favourites France was not a one-off.

"Scotland come to us on the back of a big win against France and now they’ve tasted success they’ll be hungry for more," said Ruddock.

"Scotland are strong up front and at the set piece and have the kind of backs that can hurt you if you don’t get your defensive lines right – but we will be playing our way and taking the game to them."

Llanelli lock Adam M Jones, a late inclusion on the bench last weekend after Delve pulled out on the morning of the game, is retained after Ruddock decided Wales needed extra second-row cover.

"Gareth was originally selected last week before being ruled out through injury and, after Adam’s debut appearance last weekend, we have decided to retain his valuable talents as second row cover," said Ruddock.

"Apart from Delve’s return and the enforced change to the bench due to Gareth Cooper’s dislocated shoulder, with Michael Phillips an able replacement, we have kept faith with the side that lost out at Twickenham."

Wales team to play Scotland at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday:

G Thomas (capt, Toulouse); M Jones (Llanelli Scarlets), H Luscombe (Newport Gwent Dragons), M Watkins (Llanelli Scarlets), S Williams (Ospreys); S Jones (Clermont Auvergne), D Peel (Llanelli Scarlets); D Jones (Ospreys), R Thomas (Cardiff Blues), A R Jones (Ospreys), I Gough (Newport Gwent Dragons), R Sidoli (Cardiff Blues), C Charvis (Newcastle Falcons), M Williams, (Cardiff Blues), M Owen (Newport Gwent Dragons).

Replacements: M Davies (Gloucester), G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), G Delve (Bath), A M Jones (Llanelli Scarlets), M Phillips, (Cardiff Blues), N Robinson (Cardiff Blues), Lee Byrne (Llanelli Scarlets).

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