News Worms
News Worms

Sexton Injury Fears Played Down

Sexton Injury Fears Played Down

The game against Ireland in will be the New Zealander's 100th Test in charge of Wales.

Ireland are riding on the crest of a ten match unbeaten run and they have never lost at the Aviva in the Six Nations since Schmidt took over.

"I think Gatland will be rubbing his hands together, and he always looks for some edge warrant, So, I think he'll be saying to his players this week that everyone expects Ireland to win, they don't rate us". "They play through lots of phases".

"He's very prepared. And when he speaks to you as a squad he references back to when he played, and he didn't want to be out on the pitch for long periods of time".

Injuries to Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson and Robbie Henshaw account for three of the changes to the team that defeated Italy in their first home fixture of the season two weeks ago.

Prop Furlong and second row Henderson both miss out with hamstring problems, leaving rookie duo Andrew Porter and James Ryan to lock out the tighthead side of Ireland's scrum. "So, yes, that's not ideal, but at the same time, if you want to learn, what better environment than a really white-hot atmosphere in the Aviva on Saturday". It's a game of rugby.

Sometimes we kick, sometimes we run wide, sometimes we go through the middle. "We thought on Tuesday that he would make it. Progress stalled a little bit so we said we shouldn't chase it".

"I know the coaches will be talking to him".

"I think there is a degree of frustration from our players". Schmidt has the hard decision as to whom to partner Iain Henderson with in the second-row.

"It is not generally one summary way that you play, if the forecast is a bit up and down for Saturday".

Since Josh van der Flier's long-term injury, sustained during the France opener, Dan Leavy has shown up well at open side flanker and he is likely to retain his place this weekend. Did we control most of that game? I reckon we've probably got seven or eight back rowers who could start.

We were also expected to out-muscle Wales and Scotland on their respective home patches - except it didn't quite work out like that.

Keith Earls gathers a kick against France. "You've got to beat good teams on the road and win to have a chance in a World Cup". While he did not directly mention Gatland's name in his response, these quotes do carry with them the echo of Gatland's previous criticism.

Few teams are better at managing a game than this Ireland side and the hosts, who are [1.38] to win, are fancied to hold off the challenge of Wales.

"Dev [Toner] is going to get an arm around James Ryan and make sure that he's ready to go".

"And if you can get that it keeps the players interested, and if you can keep the players interested you can stay around, because you get performances and success".

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