23 Oct 2011

Wales coach laments loss of star players

5:05 am on 23 October 2011

While it was poor goalkicking that ultimately cost Wales in the 21-18 loss to Australia in Friday night's Rugby World Cup bronze medal match, coach Warren Gatland is lamenting not having three of his top players available for the Eden Park clash.

Prop Adam Jones, rated one of the best scrummagers in the world, first five Ryan Priestland and talismanic captain Sam Warburton were all unavailable for the match, which Wales could have won had it not been for some wayward goalkicking by stand-in playmaker James Hook.

Although conceding the Wallabies deserved to win, Gatland says it may have been a different story had the trio been fit to play in Auckland.