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Davies: Week started with stress


'There's always gossip and chat. It's Welsh rugby at the end of the day'

Jonathan Davies says Wales’ Six Nations title-chasing players are focused on tackling Scotland at Murrayfield after a week dominated by Welsh rugby politics.

While unbeaten tournament leaders Wales target Six Nations title and Grand Slam success, off the field it is a story of domestic turmoil as debate rages about so-called Project Reset and how Wales’ professional regional game will look from next season.

Talks now appear to be deadlocked, a proposed Scarlets-Ospreys merger is off the table and considerable uncertainty remains.

“It’s probably been a stressful start to the week but we’ve come in today with a focus of continuing our preparation ready for Scotland and to get on that plane and progress in the tournament like we have been,” said Wales and Scarlets centre Davies.

Asked if he had ever known a week like it, Davies added: “There’s always gossip and chat. It’s Welsh rugby at the end of the day. Players are looking forward to a big Test match on the weekend.

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“That’s what we love doing, that’s what we are here to do. The most important thing for us is to focus on that. Going to Murrayfield is always a difficult place to play, and that’s the focus now with us.

“Our focus is making sure our preparation has gone as well as it has over the last month or six weeks, and we’re looking to go there and get the win.”

Victory for Wales would leave them needing to beat Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday week to secure the Six Nations crown – they last won it in 2013 – and a first Grand Slam for seven years.

While they have toppled Scotland in 11 of the countries’ last 12 meetings, they came badly unstuck at Murrayfield two years ago, losing 29-13 after leading at half-time.

“They will be looking to start well and get the crowd behind them and make sure they put us under pressure,” Davies said.

“But for us it’s making sure we build on the momentum we’ve got now, and as a unit we stay pretty tight. Two years ago we were well beaten there, so we can’t take them lightly. It is going to be a very tough Test match.

Cory Hill scores Wales’ first try in their win over England (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

“The squad is very tight. We’ve got momentum, and we are making sure we keep that. The squad is reacting well to the expectancy of winning games, and that’s a good place to be.”

The weather forecast for Edinburgh on Saturday is potentially wet and windy conditions, but Davies added: “We’re Welsh, so we are used to that! The big thing is make sure you play to the conditions.

“We’ve had a bit of practice in those conditions this week, but ideally we want to play a bit of rugby. If we have to play territory and put pressure on Scotland, then that’s what we have to do.

“I guarantee you this Welsh team is going up there focused and getting the result on Saturday.”

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'There's always gossip and chat. It's Welsh rugby at the end of the day'
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