Stuart Barnes Launches Stinging Attack On Alex Cuthbert & Coaches Who Selected Him
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Stuart Barnes has launched a stinging attack on Alex Cuthbert & the Wales management for selecting him.
The outspoken pundit has branded the decision to star Cuthbert against England as ‘stupid, cruel and monstrous’.
Barnes lays waste to Cuthbert and his performance, but stresses that the blame should lie solely on those who selected him.
Writing in his column for The Times, Barnes said:
Cuthbert was invisible. Rarely can an international have been so utterly peripheral, especially when conditions do not militate against wingers getting involved.
“In the first 71 minutes he did not receive a pass. He caught three restarts and barely made a tackle.
“Subject to the inevitable abuse on social media this week, it took Shane Williams to remind Wales that the greater fault lay not so much with the winger as the coaches who selected him.
“The 2013 version of Cuthbert who tore England apart in Cardiff and scored a superb try for the Lions in the first Test against Australia was a fine player but this was the same man in name only.
“To select him to start as North’s replacement was both stupid and cruel.
“Cuthbert did not exactly hide from the action but nor did he go foraging for work. As if he played with one eye on the clock hoping to get through from start to finish without making a big mess.
“That’s how a player thinks when all confidence is drained.”
Similar to Williams this week, Barnes says the Rob Howley and his selectors should take full responsibility for selecting him when in-form Steff Evans was a better option.
“He (Cuthbert) will have felt as though he was letting down his mates. That’s bad enough, then there are the 74,000 predominantly Welsh supporters, many eager to rip him apart on social media.
“Imagine being Cuthbert. Imagine being pitched into a Wales versus England match stripped of self-belief.
“The 2013 Cuthbert has disappeared but as Williams pointed out, that did not stop the Welsh management making a monstrous decision based purely on the 46 caps to his name.
“Steff Evans has no caps but the 22-year-old Scarlets winger is fizzing, full of dash.
“If anyone let Wales down it is the selectors who opted for the conservatism of experience and ignored the calamitous impact of no confidence.”