Wales adopt 2008 Grand Slam policy for forthcoming Six Nations

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Five uncapped players have been called into the Wales Six Nations squad as Warren Gatland reverts to old philosophies ahead of the 2011 Six Nations.

Martyn Williams was the shock omission from Warren Gatland’s squad as Wales look to repeat the feats of the 2008 Six Nations side who went on to win the Grand Slam.

Wales are 6/1 to win in the 2011 Six Nations betting and 14/1 to win the Grand Slam, and the omens are good for Wales who face England (2/1 to win the Six Nations) in their first match at the Millennium Stadium.

England’s last three visits to the Millennium Stadium have all ended in defeat, and Wales’ Grand Slam winning teams of 2005 and 2008 beat England on the opening weekend of the Six Nations.

“We have deliberately kept the squad as small as possible and have reverted largely to the philosophy we had during the Grand Slam year in 2008,” said Gatland.

Of the 2008 side that Gatland led to Grand Slam glory, nine of the squad that faced England at Twickenham are in the 2011 Six Nations squad, and while the losses of Gethin Jenkins and Adam Jones are a big blow, Gatland is optimistic the rookies can fill the void.

“Up front, it’s well documented that we have lost a couple of players in the front row, but that gives opportunities to others to put their hands up, and we are pleased with the options we have got in the pack.”

Wales play both England and Ireland (11/4 in the Six Nations betting) at home before travelling to Murrayfield to face Scotland (16/1), making the Triple Crown a distinct possibility, and Wales offer plenty of value with Triple Crown odds of 4/1.

A win against England is vital for the confidence of Gatland’s squad and history can repeat itself if the Welsh side prosper.

A £25 stake on Wales winning the Grand Slam would return £370. New customers can sign up here for a free Six Nations bet worth £25.

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