Thursday, February 11, 2010

Six Nations: Wales hit the roof as Scotland want Millennium Stadium uncovered for showdown

SCOTLAND have been accused of running scared as their Six Nations plans were dealt a severe injury blow.

Wales coach Warren Gatland hit the roof after Andy Robinson demanded the dome remain open at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Gatland claims Scotland plan to take advantage of predicted rain and snow to turn the game into a slugfest he fears is contrary to the spirit of entertainment.

But Robinson dismissed his claims amid more pressing concerns over injured second row Nathan Hines who has been ruled out of the Cardiff trip.

The Australian-born lock will be replaced by Edinburgh star Jim Hamilton who swaps an afternoon walking his dog for the chance to bare his teeth against the Welsh scrum.

Robinson told Welsh rugby chiefs he wanted the roof kept open as it's only ever closed when agreement is reached between both teams.

Gatland said: "The weather we're expecting for this weekend is not great and it is supposed to be cold with possible snow.

"But Scotland asked on Tuesday for the roof to be open and it's disappointing.

"I understand we want to play the game under natural conditions and i fit's sunny at this time of year then great.

"But if it is raining I don't understand why you wouldn't want to make use of the roof.

"We all have a responsibility to the game, to the media, to the public and the sponsors. So if we have roof let's close it, have some sanity and see some positive rugby.

"Why play in the rain and bad weather if you don't have to? "Euan Murray is back to make their scrum stronger and I'm sure Scotland will hope it's a day in Cardiff which is p****ng down with rain."

But Robinson claims he would have handed the Welsh a pre-match boost if he had agreed to play with the elements held in check.

He said: "Six Nations rules state that if we want the roof open, it's opened. It's an advantage to Wales to play with the roof closed.

"He says what he needs to say but every other game in the championship is played without a roof.

"Let's get on with it." Scotland jet out to Cardiff today as they seek only their second win on the road in eight years.

They last won on their travels in Italy in 2006 and before then it was against the Welsh in 2002.

The loss of Hines is a blow. He suffered a calf strain and aggravated a previous ankle injury during the 18-9 defeat to France at Murrayfield on Sunday.

Hamilton has just returned to action after a knee injury ruled him out of the first half of the season.

He said: "I was all set to walk my boxer dog Bruce on Saturday as I didn't expect to be part of the group."

Wales V Italy Hospitality

Six Nations Hospitality

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