Warren Gatland has made six changes to his Wales squad ahead of their Six Nations clash with Italy this weekend.
Wales has had a torrid time at this year’s Six Nations, losing all three of their games and are currently cemented at the bottom of the standings.
There are many reasons for the side’s poor form but the most obvious was the contract situation off the pitch and the effect it had on the dressing room.
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‘There was quite a significant split in the group over which way to go (to strike or not) and I think that definitely caused some tension within the group for a couple of weeks.’ Gatland said.
‘Time was the healer. It was definitely quite fractious which is understandable because people have different opinions. I don’t have an issue with that but sometimes that can create tension and on reflection, that definitely happened with guys having strong views one way or the other.
‘I think things have settled down over the last couple of weeks. Probably the best reflection of that was the comments Justin Tipuric made to the group in terms of their body language.
‘There were big moments in the England game where there were no celebrations from our players.
‘When I look back and saw we weren’t doing that against England, that’s probably a reflection of where we were as a group.’