Williams fears changes

Flanker Martyn Williams fears there could be changes in the Wales side to face France in the final Six Nations Championship game on Saturday. [more]

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Flanker Martyn Williams fears there could be changes in the Wales side to face France in the final Six Nations Championship game on Saturday.

Concern about caretaker coach Scott Johnson wielding the axe comes after Wales lost to Ireland and followed that up with an unsatisfactory 18-18 draw at home to Italy at the weekend.

And changes are most likely to the loose forward trio of Williams, Colin Charvis and skipper Michael Owen, with criticism increasing about the balance in the back row.

"You expect changes after a couple of poor performances," admitted the 61-times capped Cardiff Blues star.

"When you don’t perform you are always looking over your shoulder with regards selection and we are probably not helping ourselves at the moment.

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"It’s out of our hands. You have just got to do as well as you can in training and get the nod again."

Loose forwards such as Alix Popham and Gareth Delve are pushing for places in the Wales pack, although Williams defended the performance of the back row this season.

"The balance seemed fine in the back row when we beat Australia and pushed South Africa all the way – no one complained then.

"But when the team does not do well there are always calls for change. But as a player you have to take the criticism on the chin and move on.

"If you are picked you just have to go out there and play as best you can."

Williams said there was a huge amount of frustration in the Wales squad after Saturday’s draw.

"It was more frustration than disappointment. I thought it was in the bag for us in the first half, but the first 20 minutes of the second just killed us really.

"They got the momentum going with the interception try and their tails were up coming out for the second half.

"They played a clever game. They played in our half and we played into their hands a bit.

"You could feel we were getting a bit edgy as the game went on and the edgier we were getting things just were not sticking.

"We should have had the game sewn up by half-time. I bombed one chance we should have scored from. And then we were attacking and they ended up with an interception try. It could have been 22-8 to us at half-time but it ended up 15-15.

"It was especially frustrating in the end because we were so dominant in the first half."

Williams is convinced the team can rediscover some of the form and spirit which helped them claim the Grand Slam last season.

"We have got to get back to where we were," he said.

"We have got one game left. We have got nothing to lose because no-one is expecting anything against France.

"It’s not nice to get booed off the field and you can understand the frustration because it was a game we should have won.

"And the boys want to put things right because we have let people down."

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