Gatland has no qualms with Schmidt over gamesmanship suggestions


Wales head coach Warren Gatland insists there is no issue with Ireland counterpart Joe Schmidt over his suggestion that Gareth Anscombe's late withdrawal in last weekend's Six Nations clash was gamesmanship.

Anscombe was due to start the match between Wales and Ireland at the Aviva Stadium - which finished 16-16 - but a tight hamstring saw Liam Williams drafted in as a late replacement.

Following the match in Dublin, Schmidt was asked whether he thought the move was an act of gamesmanship to which he replied: "Undoubtedly. We just have to adapt."

Gatland, though, spoke with Schmidt after the match and says the question had merely caught his fellow New Zealander off guard.

"I just think the question he was asked put him on the spot a little bit," Gatland said. "I spoke to him afterwards and he said the question had thrown him a little bit and he couldn't even remember what he had responded with.

"We had a good chat about it and probably as coaches it's a case of making sure we stick together and not try and allow anyone to put wedges between us, which can easily happen with a wrong comment or a wrong interpretation of something."

Wales are next in action against Scotland at the Principality Stadium on Saturday, with fly-half Dan Biggar selected after making what Gatland described as a "miraculous" recovery from a foot injury that saw him last just 20 minutes against Ireland.

And Gatland again insists there was no gamesmanship over the decision to delay naming the team to allow Biggar time to recover.

"Dan was a little bit sore yesterday. He had to get through [Thursday's] training and he did that and looked sharp," he added. "I promise you there was no gamesmanship involved with Dan.

"He has made a miraculous recovery and the boys have been joking, calling him Lazarus and stuff.

"He has had a bit of jip and the boys have been wanting his matchday fee to go into the pot as a fine. He's taking it mental off Jamie Roberts."