Wales team and coaches as one

Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland, who has been Wales head coach since 2007, oversees a scrum before their Six Nations defeat to England

Wales assistant coach Rob Howley says the players and coaches are “all in it together” after losing to England.

Wales will still finish second in the Six Nations if they defeat winless Italy at home on Saturday.

Asked if Wales’ players would get a chance to redeem themselves, Howley said: “Please don’t try to divide and conquer – we are as one.

“We’re all in it together. It’s not just the players, it’s the coaches, it’s the backroom staff.”

Wales captain Sam Warburton is a doubt to face Italy as he starts head injury assessments, but prop Gethin Jenkins is back in training after missing the England match with a calf problem.

The team announcement is due on Tuesday.


Wales assistant coach Rob Howley won 59 caps as a scrum-half

Howley admits Wales’ coaches are still struggling to explain the slow start against England which saw them fall 19 points behind.

“It’s about looking in the mirror, coaches included, and asking yourself the questions about the first 20-25 minutes.

“Rugby is a game of emotion and unfortunately we just didn’t start well.

“Have I got the answers? Not at this moment in time. Hopefully when we’ve spoken to the players individually and collectively as coaches, we might have some of those answers.

“Thankfully we’ve got one more game in the championship and an opportunity to go second.

“Though it’s a Wales-England game, we’ll remember that for how many days we play them in a friendly before we go to New Zealand.”

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Highlights: England 25-21 Wales

Head coach Warren Gatland has already indicated he will consider voluntary changes.

Howley added: “As coaches we’ll sit down and have that selection [discussion. It’s a big game on Saturday and we respect Italy, so we’ll be picking what Warren Gatland feels is our best side for the game.

“I think the bench deserve [a chance]. Obviously when they’ve come on there’s certainly been a change in the momentum of the game and they’ve made a huge impact – both Rhyses [Webb and Priestland] came on.

“Sometimes in a game when we were that disappointed with how we played in the first period in terms of possession, it’s very difficult to look at [individual] players.

“Dan Biggar tried his damnedest throughout the game and his charge-down [for Wales’ first try] – he’s been looking at George Ford’s kicking all week.”

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