Rugby Union: Bowring on brink as Welsh deliberate

Click to follow
The Independent Online
KEVIN BOWRING, the Welsh coach whose acute sense of job insecurity was hardly eased by the leaking of 100-plus points to England and France during the Five Nations' Championship, was dangling by his fingertips last night. The Welsh Rugby Union's general committee met in Cardiff to discuss Bowring's future and insiders were in no hurry to bet on the outcome.

The former London Welsh flanker has 18 months left on a contract that takes him through to the 1999 World Cup and it would cost the WRU around pounds 75,000 to ditch him now.

Dennis John, the respected coach of Pontypridd, would be an obvious candidate for any succession, as would Bob Dwyer, the World Cup-winning Wallaby coach who lost his job at Leicester in such peculiar circumstances in February. With Brian Ashton, once of Bath and more recently of Ireland, also among the unemployed, the Welsh may be tempted to strike before the market dries up.

Meanwhile, Wasps have selected a distinctly rookie-esque side for tomorrow's Tetley's Bitter Cup final with Saracens at Twickenham. Laurence Scrase, Mark Denney, Mike Friday, Joe Worsley and Paul Volley are among a clutch of inexperienced starters.

Scrase gets the nod over the more rapid Paul Sampson at left wing while centre Denney, a Cambridge Blue this season, replaces the injured Nick Greenstock. The surprise is in the back row, however, where Worsley and Volley flank Lawrence Dallaglio.

Saracens look more seasoned, thanks to successful fitness tests on player- coach Francois Pienaar and Kyran Bracken. As expected, Michael Lynagh also returns three weeks after surgery. Uncapped New Zealander Brendon Daniel was chosen ahead of Ireland's Richard Wallace on the left wing, the Kiwi's better form tipping the balance.