Scarlets' Sam Costelow. Pic: Getty Images.

Sam Costelow Urged To Leave Wales Blues Behind And Smile With The Scarlets

Dragon Bet image 2

By Simon Thomas

Sam Costelow has been urged to play with a smile on his face and enjoy his rugby as he returns to United Rugby Championship action.

It was a difficult Six Nations for Costelow as he shared in Wales’ wooden spoon, while the spotlight is always on the No.10 position in Welsh rugby.

But Scarlets coach Dwayne Peel has full belief in the 23-year-old who starts at fly-half against Benetton at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday.

“I have been part of a wooden spoon campaign myself and it’s emotionally tough at the time,” said the former Wales scrum-half.

“The Italy game was hard for Sam. He was obviously on the back foot and for any 10 that’s going to be hard. That is the reality.

“But I know how good a player he is and how important he is to us.

“He needs to go out and enjoy his rugby. I don’t like it when I see him putting too much pressure on himself.

“I think we need to help him in that respect as well. It’s not a case of mollycoddling him. That’s not what I am saying.

“You have got to give him direction, but people around him are equally as important to drive him through.

“He has been a top performer for us. He has got a good skill set. He is a leader for us and he will be for many years.”

Peel added: “For us, it’s about going out and expressing ourselves. The likes of Sam, I want them to play with a smile on their face and go out and play rugby.”

With Costelow starting at No 10, Wales’ other fly-half during the Six Nations, the versatile Ioan Lloyd, switches to full-back, while scrum-half Gareth Davies also returns from the Test camp to skipper the side with Jonathan Davies coming into the centre.

Meanwhile, Dragons coach Dai Flanagan is calling on his team to be smart and clever as they welcome South Africans the Vodacom Bulls to Rodney Parade on Saturday evening.

“The Bulls are an unbelievable rugby team and one of the favourites for the league,” said Flanagan.

“They’ve got size, speed, skill set – they’re formidable.

“If we try to go pound for pound with them, they will win. If we are clever in terms of where we go pound for pound, then we have a chance.

“Physically, like you have seen with Wales and the Welsh clubs, we have some work to do.

“Realistically, we’re probably never going to have the same potential in our group as South African teams and even Irish teams, in terms of size.

“What we must be is smart, whether that’s moving the ball, playing a little bit more condensed with shorter passes or widening the pitch, kicking less or kicking more. That’s our job as coaches, to find solutions.

“We can always just say they’re bigger, they’re quicker, they’re stronger. Sometimes you can’t change that. Our job is to decide what we are going to be good at.”

Wales forwards Aaron Wainwright and Elliott Dee, who featured in every Six Nations match, are named among the Dragons subs, along with the fit-again Ben Carter.

The Bulls have some real stardust in their back-line, with the likes of Willie Le Roux, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie, while the pack looks typically powerful, with Marcell Coetzee and Marco van Staden key men in the back row.

Dragon Bet image 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.