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Ireland won’t underestimate Wales in ‘war of attrition’

Ireland coach Andy Farrell is braced for a “war of attrition” as his Grand Slam-seeking side play winless Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday.

Ireland have two victories from two in the tournament after following a 38-17 success in France on opening night with a 36-0 rout of Italy two weeks ago.

Wales have lost their first two matches, beaten narrowly by Scotland and England, with coach Warren Gatland saying he feels like he is “plugging up the holes of a sinking ship – but Farrell says complacency must not set in for his team.

“We view them in the highest regard,” Farrell said of Wales, who have not won a Six Nations match in Dublin since 2012.

SAm Cpstelow makes his return for Wales against Ireland
Image: Wales have not won a Six Nations match in Dublin since 2012

“The two performances that they had [against Scotland and England], they could be coming here with two wins and no losses so we know exactly what we’re up against.”

Farrell: Wales will look to cause chaos

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Sky Sports News’ Eleanor Roper and digital journalist Megan Wellens preview the third round of fixtures in the Six Nations, including Scotland’s Calcutta Cup tie with England and Ireland vs Wales

Farrell continued: “It’s a Test match. It’s a war of attrition and they’re going to give it absolutely everything they’ve got.

“We’ve got to manage ourselves from the start of the game to the end in the best way possible because if we don’t we’ll come unstuck, there’s no doubt about that.

“We obviously know what they’ve been talking about, coming out of the blocks and causing chaos and we know it’s going to be a fight. We know they’re going to make it as tough as possible for us.

“We have full respect in regard to what Wales are going to bring because they’re always unbelievably hard to beat and we expect them to be chomping at the bit.

Sheehan
Image: Ireland have won their last 17 home Test matches

“But we always concentrate on ourselves and making sure that we put our game to the match, whoever it is that we’re playing.”

Farrell: Ireland’s winning run ‘amazing’

Ireland are bidding to extend their three-year winning run at home to 18 Tests and equal England’s record of 11 successive Six Nations victories.

Farrell has triumphed in 23 of 24 matches on Irish soil during his reign, with a 15-13 loss to France in 2021 the only blemish.

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“It’s amazing, isn’t it?” he added. “It’s not something that I keep track of, all these bits.

“They just roll over my head because it’s always just about the performance and getting the best out of ourselves and trying to be better the whole time. That’s what drives us more than anything.

“I suppose if you have that type of mentality hopefully things will chug along in the right direction but it’s nice to be told these things on the periphery, so that you’re aware of the progress that you’re making.”

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