Six Nations 2017: Bonus points will encourage Wales attack - Rob Howley

Rob Howley
Rob Howley will be one of Warren Gatland's assistant coaches on the 2013 Lions tour to New Zealand in
Six Nations: Italy v Wales
Date: Sunday, 5 February Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Coverage: Live on S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary

Wales coach Rob Howley says the introduction of bonus points will influence his team's approach during the Six Nations.

A bonus-point system has been introduced to the 2017 championship to "encourage and reward try-scoring and attacking play".

Four points for a win and a bonus point for four or more tries are on offer.

"It's exciting times to hopefully continue the style which we started to embed in the autumn," said Howley.

"We hope to continue that in the Six Nations.

"There's no doubt bonus points are going to play a part in the Championship.

Six Nations on the BBC

"Pundits have looked back about how they might have influenced previous years and they have [changed the table]."

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Howley explains Wales captaincy change

How bonus points will work in the Six Nations

In 2016 it was two points for a win, but that will become four - plus a bonus point for four or more tries.

A losing team could pick up two bonus points - one if they score four or more tries and another if they lose by seven points or fewer.

A team that wins the Grand Slam - all five games - will receive an three extra points, making it impossible for a team with a glut of bonus points to win the tournament instead.

Teams that draw will now get two points each with a similar bonus point again available for scoring four tries or more.

'We haven't done too bad, have we?' - Howley

Howley is in charge for a second Six Nations campaign while regular head coach Warren Gatland prepares to take the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand in the summer.

In similar circumstances in 2013, when Gatland was pondering his 2013 Lions tour party to Australia, Howley guided Wales to the Six Nations title.

He was also part of the set-up for the 2008 and 2012 Grand Slams, but denies Wales have become one-dimensional since their 2013 triumph.

"When you look back at our Six Nations success, we haven't done too bad, have we?" he responded.

"We've tried to evolve. What you saw out in New Zealand [in summer 2016] was an evolvement of our game. We've continued that for the Six Nations.

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Alun Wyn Jones: Wales' captain for the 2017 Six Nations

"[It's] another selection where we've been able to tweak one or two selections to enable us to evolve in the way we want to."

Wales will have their England-based players available for a three-day training camp under World Rugby rules in the week beginning 24 January.

Wales begin their campaign in Rome against Italy on Sunday, 5 February with lock Alun Wyn Jones having replaced flanker Sam Warburton as captain.

Ahead of their November win over South Africa, Jones said the new style they were trying to implement had been to their "detriment at times".

There are also seven uncapped players in the Wales squad.

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