Rob Howley will lead the Probables in Swansea in a fortnight
Rob Howley says the banter between the Wales coaching staff has already started ahead of the Probables versus Possibles trial game in a fortnight's time.
Head coach Warren Gatland will watch the nation's best go head-to-head at the Liberty Stadium before picking his squad for the two-Test, three-game tour of South Africa shortly after.
But while Gatland will be keeping an eye on both teams in Swansea, his assistants will be on opposite sides, with Howley leading the Probables and forwards coach Robin McBryde taking charge of the Possibles. Howley will be supported by defence coach Shaun Edwards and Scarlets forwards coach Danny Wilson, while Blues caretaker coach Dale McIntosh and Wales kicking expert Neil Jenkins will work with McBryde.
And while much has already been made of the individual battles that lie ahead between the players, Howley admits that they aren't the only ones who will be looking to get one up on their mates on May 30.
"We have split the whole management team down the middle," said Howley. "Warren's hit it spot on in terms of separating the two teams so we're not training together for the whole week.
"We will be training on different fields totally separately. We want a full-blooded trial.
"There are a couple of jokes going around the office among the coaches as well! Because we are going to be preparing separately, there is a lot of kidding and joking about how we are going to play, how we are going to defend. I will hopefully try and get on the computers to see what Robin is doing!"
Howley played in the last Wales senior trial back in 2000 when he was one of the Probables and he expects his charges to experience similar emotions to the ones he did 14 years ago.
He knows that the pressure is on him and the Probables rather than McBryde and the Possibles and he admits it won't be easy for his team given the pressure that accompanies their more favourable tag.
"The Probables will be a little bit more nervous than the Possibles. As a player playing for the Probables, you feel vulnerable," added Howley.
"All of a sudden, as a Probable, you are put in the incumbent side and you are putting your performance on the line for everyone to be critical of and analyse. It's not easy.
"Vulnerable and nervous: that's how I felt back in 2000. You are naturally nervous, because you want to wear that red jersey, the three feathers. At the end of the day, the coach picks you, you think you are the number one. But the pressure is there to live up to that.
"It's a great opportunity for the Possibles boys to have a crack at the Probables. The Possibles have got an opportunity to beat the Probables and it's intriguing."
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