Martyn Williams expects Wales reaction against Ireland

Ex-Welsh international looks ahead to the Six Nations clash with Keith Wood

BY Raf Diallo 20:44 Wednesday 8 March 2017, 20:44 8 Mar 2017

Alun Wyn Jones of Wales and Rory Best of Ireland ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Ex-Wales international Martyn Williams is tipping his nation to edge Ireland in Friday night's Six Nations clash in Cardiff.

Wales have lost to England and Scotland since their opening weekend win over Italy and will be eager to avoid the prospect of losing three on the trot.

Speaking to Off The Ball alongside ex-Ireland captain Keith Wood, Williams expects a tight game. 

"I think it will be a very, very similar game to the England game. I think both sides, for very different reasons, will be absolutely desperate to win the game and there's a lot of familiarity between the players," he said.

"It will be hugely physical and I think it will go down to those last few minutes again."

He continued: "I think it will be very, very tight but I do fancy us to nick this one just because of the backlash and I sense a reaction after the Scotland game".

Wood and Williams also discussed the general lack of change in the make-up of the Welsh team, with the latter saying of the favouring of experience over youth: "The management don't seem to have any faith in the younger players who have been in camp over the last four or five weeks". 

He also feels the Welsh bench has not made much of an impact in the last couple of games.

Wood added: "Martyn touched on one point there which was about the lack of depth maybe in Wales. It's maybe the lack of oomph from the coaching panel to make a change. Wales have only had three new capped players since the World Cup compared to 19 from Ireland. That's pretty stark idea and view into how many players we now seem to have at our disposal and maybe the lack of trust that sits within Pro 12 being a big step up for Wales."  



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