Eddie O'Sullivan reveals major worries about Ireland's Wales task

Ex-Ireland head coach picks out a few issues that could have an impact

BY Raf Diallo 20:34 Tuesday 7 March 2017, 20:34 7 Mar 2017

Eddie O'Sullivan ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

It's fifteen years and one month since Eddie O'Sullivan began his seven year tenure in earnest as Ireland head coach.

The Cork man had been appointed in November 2001 to replace Warren Gatland and the first match as head coach was on February 3rd 2002 as Ireland put six tries by Wales at the old Landsdowne Road.

The match featured Paul O'Connell's first match 

On Tuesday night's Off The Ball, O'Sullivan was joined by former Ireland second row Mick Galwey to share their memories of those early days together as a team.

But they also looked ahead to Ireland's upcoming clash against Wales in Cardiff this Friday in the fourth weekend of the 2017 Six Nations.

"This was a game I've always worried about, once we got the fixture list for the Six Nations," he said.

"I thought we'd get to this point with three wins. We haven't obviously because the Scotland game we left behind us. But this was the game I always saw as the one that could make or break us.

"And I think if we win on Friday night, we could easily win the following Saturday [against England]. But I am worried about Friday night because in my experience, whatever about Wales on the road, they're a different team in Cardiff.

"In that stadium, they play an extra 10-15% above themselves and I think them losing to Scotland has done us no favours either. They're going to be really wired because of it. If they lost to us on Friday, they're season is a catastrophe. It'll have a knock-on effect on Lions selections and it's their last home game in Cardiff in the Six Nations. There are a lot of chips on the table for them. That makes them very dangerous and I've been worried about this game all championship and I'm not any less worried than I was at the start of it, despite everything."  

Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week