Davies dreams of Wales return
PA Sport
May 29, 2007

Wales could reintroduce the steady hands of veteran Mefin Davies as they look to find some line-out composure for the second Test against Australia.

The Welsh came unstuck in that critical area as they went down 29-23 in Sydney last Saturday and 34-year-old Davies is line for a recall in Brisbane this weekend.

Leicester-bound hooker Davies has been a bit-part player since Gareth Jenkins took over as coach with the likes of Matthew Rees, Rhys Thomas, Huw Bennett and Richard Hibbard moving up the pecking order.

But Rees has now returned home to be with his wife for the birth of their first child and Davies, having overcome a rib injury, could still come into the World Cup reckoning.

It is an opportunity Davies is determined to take, but despite not featuring recently he feels criticism of the Welsh pack has been unfair.

Davies, who will face competition from Hibbard and Steve Jones, said: "It's easy to criticise and some people are making assumptions, but it's a big-picture environment. If you don't try things, you don't know what the opposition are doing.

"So it's a bit of a game of chess to some extent and it's difficult for the caller to make a decision and you don't know what the opposition are about until you make your first move.

"You have to make your first move to see if your second opportunity is open and sometimes your opposition also change the way they defend.

"So it's not just one team's situation, it's about both teams. We have to look at our detail and that's down to us, but it's easy for people to pass comment and it's not fair.

"I support every player and unfortunately sometimes the fans and media don't know what we go through.

"In one way arriving at this stage is an advantage. It's difficult for the first Test because players have all been away at clubs and regions, and it's the same scenario for the Six Nations and autumn Tests.

"Here it's a case of players coming together who have not been together and hadn't been involved in the Six Nations, so there are huge variables that have to come together.

"It's evident there have been issues, but they are there to be fixed."

Davies, known for his line-out accuracy, now has the World Cup in mind as he eyes a return against the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium.

He did not come into consideration for the first Test having suffered an injury in his final match for Gloucester - the Guinness Premiership final defeat to his new club Leicester.

Davies said: "There's always hope and playing for your country is your biggest desire and you always aim for it.

"If you get an opportunity to be in the squad it's the place you want to be and I've been fortunate enough to have a few campaigns with a lot of different experiences.

"During the Six Nations I was there but not involved and felt out of it and wanted more. Then I was selected for the tour and it's exactly what I wanted.

"But unfortunately I had an injury that set me back, then had a second opportunity and I'm grateful for it and hopefully I'll be involved on Saturday."

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