Gatland urges Wales to take Grand Slam opportunity

Munster player to make Six Nations debut for Ireland against Wales

The Six Nations builds up to its crescendo this weekend and all the indications are that it will be an intriguing one.

England head coach Eddie Jones believes Wales' fatigue could cost them the Six Nations Grand Slam as they host Ireland on Saturday.

An Ireland victory in Cardiff would give England a shot at snatching the title if they can beat Scotland in the later kick-off on Saturday.

Eddie Jones has stirred the pot by saying he thinks Wales could be exhausted because they've made the most tackles, while Ireland's big-game players are peaking. "If it was me I'd be concentrating on playing Scotland", joked Gatland.

"It will be the same approach we had with England", he said.

"I think it's a fascinating close to the tournament", he said.

"We know what is at stake, and the prize is massive".

"For a number of us as coaches this is our last Six Nations game and the fact that it is in Cardiff is extra special".

"We don't have any plan [about the Wales game]", he added.


Gatland has named an unchanged team following last week's win over Scotland that extended his side's new Welsh record to 13 straight Test victories, with full-back Liam Williams fit after a shoulder problem.

"I can guarantee you on Saturday, if we do win, there will be plenty of emotion afterwards".

However, as they showed in the autumn, they are a top-notch side and it was just the disappointment in the opening game against England in Dublin which has undermined their tournament.

Wales are bidding for a third Grand Slam under Gatland - it would be a record for any Five or Six Nations coach if his players accomplish it - and also leave them in great shape six months before their World Cup challenge in Japan.

"He has matured gracefully", Gatland said.

"I'm just saying what I see". They're in a good spot and they've got a lot to prove in the last game, haven't they?'

"The only thing we can control, regardless of the result, is how well we play".

"In the early years he was a bit hot-headed and temperamental, and he was the one starting the fights in training and stuff, and that is what a competitor he is".

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