Wales must attack Sexton and Murray - Gatland

Wales must attack Sexton and Murray - Gatland”

Wales will have to attack Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray if they have any hope of beating Ireland this weekend, according to head coach Warren Gatland.

Gatland knows all about the threat posed by the half-back pairing, who were in his starting line-up for two of the three British and Irish Lions Tests in New Zealand previous year. However, it is his comments about Ireland's half-back pair which will garner the biggest headlines, coming a year after Sexton had to endure a head injury assessment injury against Wales in Cardiff.

The Kiwi says Wales' defensive line-speed needs to be good, and they must put Murray's kicking game under pressure.

"Ireland are a quality side that are hard to break down, but this is a must win for us".

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Biggar returns after a shoulder injury kept him out of Wales' win over Scotland and narrow defeat to England, while Williams also missed the first two games and Halfpenny was a late withdrawal from the team at Twickenham. Every venue in the Six Nations has its own characteristics which makes it unique and Dublin has held on to that.

"We've got to make sure we don't give Ireland an opportunity to kick to the sidelines by giving away penalties and execute their driving lineout, which is pretty effective, and allow Johnny Sexton to keep their scoreboard ticking over".

"Ireland ground out a win in France".

"You don't stay in a job like this and do as well as he has without changing things up, changing your style of play, and I think you've seen that with Wales in the last few years", Owens added.

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In the build-up to Saturday's game, Gatland was quizzed about whether he thinks Ireland have been the best team in the Six Nations so far. Our discipline has been excellent in the first two games. They hadn't lost a home Test since 2008 or 2009, and we beat them (in Wellington).

"Andy Farrell (Ireland defence coach) won't be happy with Ireland conceding 19 points against Italy".

"There's a competitive edge to training and there will be a few tough calls I'm sure, but we're looking forward to those discussions".

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 1 Rob Evans, 2 Ken Owens, 3 Samson Lee, 4 Cory Hill, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (C), 6 Aaron Shingler, 7 Josh Navidi, 8 Ross Moriarty.

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