Gatland: Wales players have had 'tough' 18 months

Wales head coach Warren Gatland pointed to how a busy last 18 months of rugby may have had an effect on his players, after their hopes of a third consecutive Six Nations title were ended by England yesterday.

"It has been tough on these players in retrospect - a Grand Slam (2012), a championship (2013) and a Lions tour. It has been a long 18 months for those players," Gatland said.

Wales were beaten 29-18 by an impressive England team yesterday. Credit: PA

"But this is professional sport and you've got to get yourselves up, and unfortunately we weren't as good as we can be. That is disappointing", Gatland admitted.

"Teams are pretty close in this competition. I think the four top teams are all capable of beating each other on their day if they get their performance right, and England got their performance right."

Full back Leigh Halfpenny dislocated a shoulder at Twickenham, while scrum half Rhys Webb is also likely to miss Wales' final game of the championship against Scotland on Saturday.

A number of other players are facing real competition for their places.

Wales captain Sam Warburton admitted "England deserved the win."

Advertisement

Gatland left to rue ‘inconsistent’ Six Nations campaign

Wales have made six changes to their starting line-up for the Six Nations clash against Scotland in Cardiff this Saturday.