By James Skeldon
Wales captain Jonathan Davies is keen to get the job done this weekend in their second match in two weeks against Argentina.
After a disappointing 20-20 draw seven days ago – a match Wales will feel aggrieved to have not won – Saturday’s fixture in Cardiff is an opportunity for redemption for Wayne Pivac’s men.
Wales have fielded a relatively new side with seven changes being made. Most notably, newly capped Tom Rogers returning to the left wing, there is a new set of props in Gareth Thomas and Leon on Brown, as well as the revised half-back pairing of Tomos Williams and Jarrod Evans, who impressed off the bench last weekend.
Matthew Screech is also set to win his first cap for Wales as he appears in the 19 jersey.
Despite the disappointment of not coming away with a win last weekend, Davies believes that some valuable lessons were learned.
“Argentina came really hard in the contact area,” said the Scarlets centre.
“They made it a real contest at the breakdown. We need to make sure we are there and we take away those threats. They are a strong team, but we can gain confidence from the game.
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) July 17, 2021
“A lot of the boys haven’t experienced playing at that level of test rugby and they’ll have learned from it and know they can cope with the challenges.”
Davies – who is on the stand-by list for the British and Irish Lions – is confident in his team’s ability to play together cohesively despite the changes in personnel.
“All camp we’ve come together really well as a squad, explained Davies.
“I think it shows the confidence we have where we’re able to make changes and give boys an opportunity and still have the confidence that if we deliver our roles and execute, we can get a win and win the series.”
A win this weekend would be cap off a very long, tough season for Davies and Wales.
“As a collective it would be good to sign off on what has been a very long season with a series win against a very, very good team.
Captain Jonathan Davies knows Wales can cause Pumas more problems in this Saturday’s Summer Internationals finale.
— Welsh Rugby Union 🏉 (@WelshRugbyUnion) July 16, 2021
“They’ve had some great results over the last twelve or eighteen months or so and there’s an opportunity for us to sign off for our break in the summer on a good note.”
These summer internationals have been a useful developmental exercise for the squad with several new caps and players being given greater responsibility within the squad. The depth of the squad has been enhanced according to the captain.
“It’s creating competition. It’s great moving forward for Welsh rugby.
“Come the autumn when everyone’s fit, the coaches will have a tough selection on their hands in all positions which is where you want the national team to be.”
One player that has benefited from this summer’s international exposure is Davies’ fellow Scarlet, Tom Rogers.
Davies believes that he will have learned a huge amount.
“He talked to me after that Canada game and he said that he had never felt cramp like it.
“He’s got the X Factor definitely. I don’t want to put too much pressure on him before tomorrow.
Faltan horas para un nuevo partido de @lospumas.
¿Qué les parece si repasamos los tries del último sábado para calmar la ansiedad? #VamosLosPumas
🎥 ESPN pic.twitter.com/OZeqt9iF5p
— Los Pumas (@lospumas) July 16, 2021
“He has the ability to beat people with his footwork. There is a huge amount of potential there.
“He’s got a great head on his shoulders and he has all the attributes to really go well on the international stage.”
Davies is aiming to round off this international season on a high and is motivated to secure a win on Saturday.
“It’s very easy to get yourself up for a Welsh game. There is a lot of excitement in the group.
“We had a good session yesterday and another one this morning and we have just got to make sure we transfer that onto the park.”