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Warren Gatland's Risk Might Cost Wales World Cup Pool Points

Warren Gatland's Risk Might Cost Wales World Cup Pool Points
By Conor O'Leary Updated

It was curious and noteworthy that in both the Wales and Australia squads for the Rugby World Cup that neither had decided to bring a third hooker.

It was quite a controversial call at the time, with both having plenty of hookers available to them. Indeed, Gatland made the decision to drop 2013 Lion Richard Hibbard.

But if things go wrong for either of them, then that team could face an extra challenge in attempting to qualify for the quarter finals. World Rugby rules states that all teams must name designated and qualified players at front row. All squads must designate each position in the starting lineup, and have three qualified front row players on the bench - at least one for each position.

Should any team not have enough specific front row players to fulfill this rule then they face the prospect of forfeiting the game and losing points.

Because both Wales and Australia named only two hookers, an injury to either player in the 48 hours preceding a game will mean that they won't be able to draft in another hooker and they face losing match points.

Both Wales and Australia have announced who will cover as their third 'hooker' in the event of an emergency, but both admit to not knowing whether this is acceptable practise or not. Australia would use loosehead prop Scott Sio, whilst Wales would use versatile prop Aaron Jarvis.

Sio has played hooker before, albeit in underage games, but Jarvis has never played there at any level.

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Never mind bringing only two scrumhalves, this is the real gamble.

[Wales Online]

See Also: Strong Ireland Team Named To Face England In Final Warm Up

Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

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