Wales great hits out at Warren Gatland as forward walks out after head coach’s alleged ‘disrespect’

wales great hits out at warren gatland as forward walks out after head coach’s alleged ‘disrespect’

Warren-Gatland-at-press-conference-after-announcing-2024-Six-Nations-squad-PA-1

Warren Gatland has responded to the departure of hooker Sam Parry from the Wales squad, but not before great centre Tom Shanklin had taken a dig at the head coach.

It has been reported that the Ospreys front-rower decided to leave the group on the eve of the Springboks clash after claiming a lack of respect from the Welsh boss.

According to the Daily Mail, Parry felt ‘disrespected’ by not being made aware of his position within the team after being called up to the squad.

The experienced forward was named as one of four hookers in the initial 36-man group, but he apparently received less kit than his team-mates and was then told he was only there to help Wales prepare for their games in Australia.

Hookers for Springboks Test

Dewi Lake started and captained the side during the 41-13 defeat to the Boks on Saturday while Evan Lloyd was on the bench and came on late in the second period.

Parry was, therefore, the third-choice hooker after Dee was ruled out through injury, but he has now been replaced in the squad by Cardiff’s Efan Daniel, who will travel down under.

Parry has received plenty of support after news of his alleged walkout surfaced on Friday, including from ex-Test centre Shanklin.

The 44-year-old, who earned 70 caps for the national side and played under Gatland, was not impressed by the New Zealander.

“Good on him for making a stance,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “That’s not how to man manage an experienced respected campaigner.”

Springboks shake off rust as debutant shines in convincing victory over Wales

Gatland’s explanation

Wales’ head coach was inevitably asked about the situation ahead of their game with the Boks at Twickenham, and he sought to play down the incident.

The 60-year-old almost seemed nonplussed and insists that he is always willing to speak to players if they have issues.

“I didn’t see anything that he’s actually said anything. I think it’s someone else making some comments,” Gatland told S4C.

“You’d need to talk to him and my door is always open in terms of having a discussion with any players if they have any feelings or need anything clarified.

“We were very clear in discussions with him early in the week when he came into the squad, so, you know, if he wants to reach out I’m more than happy to [speak to him].”

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