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Gatland urges patience after narrow England defeat

Dafydd Jenkins has suffered two narrow losses as Wales captain

Head coach Warren Gatland has urged for patience from the Welsh public after a narrow 16-14 Six Nations defeat by England at Twickenham.

Wales have lost nine out of the last 10 Six Nations matches and this defeat follows a one-point loss to Scotland in the opening match in Cardiff.

Gatland’s side next travel to face Ireland in Dublin on 24 February before home games against France and Italy.

“My message for the Welsh public is to have a bit of patience,” said Gatland.

This is an inexperienced Welsh side after a turnover of players and the loss of a series of established names following the World Cup quarter-final defeat against Argentina in October 2023.

“Hopefully people on the outside can see what we’re trying to do as a squad,” said Gatland.

“We’ve got a spectrum of players. Some players are incredibly young and finding their feet, while some players are in for the experience.

“I’m excited by this group. I just think what we’ve shown in the last couple of weeks, we know it’s things that will make us a lot better and we will improve.

“We’ve got a group of youngsters and our role as coaches is to make them better and learn from those experiences.

“They’ve made a massive amount of progress in a few weeks.

“We came here today without any fear and a lot of confidence we could win the game. Unfortunately, we fell a little short. The fact we’re playing a quality side in Ireland next up, it will be a level up.”

This was an eighth successive loss for Wales at Twickenham since 2015 and a sixth consecutive defeat at England’s home ground in the tournament since 2012.

Wales had bucked their recent trend by leading at half-time away against England in the tournament for the first time since 1980.

Gatland’s side could not hold onto victory as a late George Ford penalty sealed victory.

“It is pretty disappointing,” said Gatland.

“I’m proud of the performance and effort of the players. I’m disappointed we didn’t come away with a win.

“For us, it’s part of the journey we’re on in terms of developing as a team. I said to the players in the changing room we have to be disappointed with that.

“I told them I think they’re going to be a really good team going forward, it’s it’s just going to take us a little bit of time.

“Today’s part of that process, in terms of learning from that and some game management.”

Gatland hopes Wales can take the next step and turn narrow losses into victories.

“The boys are desperate to get a win,” said Gatland.

“Probably the challenge for us is just how important winning is. A number of players are coming from regional teams that haven’t had a lot of success.

“They’ve probably got used to not having that ‘W’ next to their name after performances. That’s why, for us, it’s important we start doing that and be positive about doing that.

“One of the great things about playing for Wales is, having spoke to a number of players, when they come into this environment, they come in with confidence believing they’re good enough to win.

“We’ve just got to keep building on that and one of these games will bring that.”