Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

'Daunting makes it sounds like we are scared. We are not. We are excited'

By PA
LYON, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 24: Nick Tompkins of Wales celebrates victory at full-time following the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between Wales and Australia at Parc Olympique on September 24, 2023 in Lyon, France. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Nick Tompkins says that Wales are excited and not daunted by the challenge that awaits them against Guinness Six Nations title favourites Ireland on Saturday.

ADVERTISEMENT

The odds are stacked against Wales, having not won a Six Nations game in Dublin since 2012 and facing a team marching ominously towards achieving back-to-back Grand Slams.

More than a third of Wales’ match-day 23 have cap totals in single figures, while a vastly-experienced Ireland team last suffered a Six Nations defeat two years ago.

Video Spacer

Jesse Kriel on the Springboks’ rush defence | RPTV

Springbok Jesse Kriel discusses the famed rush defence and the pros of mastering it. Watch the full chat exclusively on RugbyPass TV

Watch now

Video Spacer

Jesse Kriel on the Springboks’ rush defence | RPTV

Springbok Jesse Kriel discusses the famed rush defence and the pros of mastering it. Watch the full chat exclusively on RugbyPass TV

Watch now

Asked if there was a more daunting test in world rugby than tackling Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Wales centre Tompkins said: “I don’t know about daunting.

“Daunting makes it sounds like we are scared. We are not. We are excited.

“Realistically, we have got nothing to lose. It is a big challenge, but you need those big ones.

“There is no point in playing a mediocre side, and it is going to be good to see where we are at.”

Wales lost their opening two Six Nations encounters against Scotland and England by a combined margin of three points and could easily have arrived in Dublin with an unbeaten record.

ADVERTISEMENT

Scotland held on for a 27-26 victory in Cardiff after Wales scored 26 unanswered points, while it took a late George Ford penalty to overhaul Wales’ nine-point interval advantage at Twickenham.

Ireland, though, have proved themselves time and time again as northern hemisphere rugby’s current dominant force, with Wales facing easily their sternest test since Warren Gatland returned for a second stint as head coach prior to last season’s Six Nations.

Tompkins added: “If we are off on any one thing, any one aspect of play, they are going to pounce on it.

“We have been talking this week about the need to give everything, in every area of the game, all the time. It needs to be (for) 80 minutes as well.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We have bigged this up enough for ourselves, we are focusing on ourselves, but the boys know what lies ahead.

Fixture
Six Nations
Ireland
31 - 7
Full-time
Wales
All Stats and Data

“I am not saying you can’t make any mistakes, but in those moments when you have got them under pressure, you cannot let them off.

“It is nice when you have got some of those younger lads. They don’t have that fear, that naivety.

“It’s quite nice, so you try and install that and go out and play and have a bit of enjoyment about it. When you do that against Scotland and you come back and you should have won it, or nearly won it, it just shows where we can take it.

“I don’t want them to go there and worry about outside aspects or we can’t beat them or we can’t do this, I want them to go and just be them and be confident with it and enjoy it.”

Related

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

Chasing The Sun | Series 1 Episode 1

Fresh Starts | Episode 1 | Will Skelton

ABBIE WARD: A BUMP IN THE ROAD

Aotearoa Rugby Podcast | Episode 9

James Cook | The Big Jim Show | Full Episode

New Zealand victorious in TENSE final | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Men's Highlights

New Zealand crowned BACK-TO-BACK champions | Cathay/HSBC Sevens Day Three Women's Highlights

Japan Rugby League One | Bravelupus v Steelers | Full Match Replay

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

TRENDING
TRENDING The 124kg 'enforcer' Matfield tips to 'take over' from Etzebeth The 124kg 'enforcer' Matfield tips to 'take over' from Etzebeth
Search