Lock Coombs enjoys a debut to remember
AMID the post-match talk of sluggish starts and butchered chances, Andrew Coombs was reflecting on a debut to remember.
A player plucked from regional obscurity, Coombs produced the performance of his career at the Millennium Stadium.
He made 17 carries, just behind Dragons team-mate Toby Faletau (19) and was a safe pair of hands at the front of the Welsh line-out.
Afterwards, Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde enthused: "He couldn't have done any more, he was outstanding".
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However, Coombs was left with mixed emotions as Wales fell to an eighth successive Test defeat.
"It was exciting, it was emotional, but disappointing as well," said the 28-year-old former Newport captain.
"On the whole I think it well for me. I got through a lot of work, I made one or two errors, but I have had positive feedback from the coaches.
"To be honest I felt better on the day of the game than I did all week. I got into the right frame of mind and the crowd, the anthem, got me up for it. Hopefully I have done enough to get into the team for France.
"I am 28 years old so I can't waste time when I am here. It is important that I do as much as I can to stay here.
"There are some class second rows to come back later on in this campaign. My job is to do as much as I can and make it tough for the coaches."
Another who made his Wales bow was Harlequins lock Olly Kohn, just weeks after declaring his Welsh eligibility through a grandfather from Fleur-de-Lys in the Rhymney Valley.
Kohn could have been selling sausages with his family business "The Jolly Hog" at Twickenham on Saturday.
Instead, he was running on in front of nearly 74,000 in a Six Nations thriller at the Millennium Stadium.
"It was nice, very nice — especially at the Millennium Stadium with a fantastic atmosphere," he said.
"I only got an eight-minute run out, but I'm chuffed to bits. It was just a shame about the result.
"My grandfather's not with us anymore but he would have been very proud to have seen me here and it was a massive honour for me.
"The last few weeks have been absolutely fantastic. When I got a phone call from Alan Phillips (Wales team manager) I was taken aback.
"So I put down the nappies that I was changing my two kids with and took a few minutes to myself and I thought, 'crikey, I didn't expect to be launching my international career at this stage'.
"But I'm absolutely delighted. It's just a shame about the result and how it went.
"Hopefully we'll put things right next week."