Jonathan Davies: Wales 'not allowed' to play like Scarlets says dual code great

George North
Northampton wing George North, formally a Scarlet, scored three of Wales' eight 2017 Six Nations tries

Former Wales dual-code international Jonathan Davies would like to see Wales play more like Scarlets but says the players are "not allowed to".

Scarlets' expansive play has taken them to Saturday's Pro12 final against Munster at the Aviva Stadium.

Wales finished fifth in the 2017 Six Nations, under caretaker Rob Howley.

But when asked why Wales do not play like Scarlets, Davies told the BBC: "Because they're not allowed to, I think, that's what I'm hearing."

Wales scored eight tries from their five Six Nations games this season, half as many as champions England, while Ireland and Scotland both ran in 14 tries.

"It's a very structured game plan. They say they're evolving it; I think they're evolving it a little bit, I haven't seen enough of it," Davies added.

Ireland's Jonathan Sexton (centre) and Owen Farrell of England (right)
Ireland's Jonathan Sexton and Owen Farrell of England are leading contenders for the Lions fly-half spot

Wales coach Warren Gatland is again in charge of the British and Irish Lions for this summer's tour to New Zealand, having led the Lions to a series win in Australia four years ago.

Davies said he is looking forward to seeing the tactics that Gatland will employ against the world champion All Blacks, and who might get the starting fly-half berth - with his bet on either England's Owen Farrell or Jonathan Sexton of Ireland.

There is also the possibility of Sexton being handed the 10 shirt and Saracens stand-off Farrell lining up at inside centre where he plays for England.

"That will be the interesting thing when the Lions go," Davies said.

"With [Owen] Farrell or [Jonathan] Sexton what type of game will they play under Warren Gatland?"

Scarlets qualified for Saturday's final in Dublin thanks to a thrilling semi-final win at Leinster, becoming the first team in Pro12 history to win a semi-final away from home.

Scarlets wing Steff Evans
Scarlets' high-risk, high-reward game plan paid dividends against Leinster

"[Scarlets coach] Wayne Pivac's coaching philosophy is slightly different I think," Davies said.

"If you look at some of their big players, I think the Davies brothers - Jonathan and James - are playing exceptionally well.

"Steffan Evans has been brilliant this year, he's got a couple of Test runs for Wales this summer, also [Steve] Shingler is going well and the front five is solid.

"So they seem to be really, really enjoying themselves and playing good football.

"But their skills are very high as well, they've executed some great movements to create beautiful tries.

"I was surprised how well they did play against Leinster, but how they played so well against Ospreys - they absolutely annihilated the Ospreys the previous fortnight - they're in a good place."

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