Jones defends Peel policy

Rotatation of scrum-halves not to blame for non-selection

Last Updated: 22/01/09 12:53pm

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Peel: Left out by Gatland

Peel: Left out by Gatland

Sky Bet

Sale head coach Kingsley Jones has brushed off suggestions that Dwayne Peel was not selected for the Welsh Six Nations squad because he failed to hold down a regular spot in his side.

The scrum-half joined Sale Sharks last summer after a long and successful career in Llanelli as well as starring in Wales' Grand Slam victories in 2005 and 2008.

He was surprisingly left out of Warren Gatland's squad for the Six Nations. Gatland chose Gareth Cooper and Mike Phillips, who both play for Welsh clubs, over Peel.

Disappointed

The 27-year-old has had limited game time for Sale this season, being forced to share the scrum-half role with England international Richard Wigglesworth.

Jones dismissed the murmurings that his rotation policy coupled with the fact that Peel is no longer playing in Wales contributed to his omission but still found time to challenge the WRU to be open with their selction policy.

"The last thing I want to do is burn any bridges with Wales but I was disappointed with the perception at a press conference this week that seemed to blame Dwayne's time at Sale for his non-selection," Jones told the Manchester Evening News.

"As long as the WRU are giving a clear message to the players about why they are not being picked, then that's all fair and well. If it is the fact that it is because they are playing in England, then let's come out and say that.

Our call

"But I don't think that is the case. I think they simply believe Cooper and Phillips are better options right now. That's their choice.

"If we are going to achieve something as a club, then one thing we need is two quality half-backs and whatever happens is our call.

"The irony is that Wales will do the same. I'm sure Phillips and Cooper won't start every game in the Six Nations. Mike has only just returned from a serious knee injury."

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