Gatland admits he was wrong
Published 10/03/2011 | 05:00
Wales coach Warren Gatland has apologised for once claiming that of all the teams in the Six Nations, the Welsh players disliked the Irish the most.
Former Ireland coach Gatland caused a storm ahead of the Irish Grand Slam success two years ago with an incendiary claim which was rubbished by those within Declan Kidney's camp - and many in Wales.
"I probably used the wrong words," Gatland has admitted ahead of Saturday's Cardiff rematch. "Because the players know each other so well, and Leinster and Munster have consistently done well and you've got the Blues and the Ospreys players, there is a lot of competition between the sides in the Magners League.
"It's all about bragging rights and performing. You've got to give credit to how successful the Irish provinces have been.
"For us, it's about the players being really motivated to do well in any match against Ireland. So there you have it -- no hand grenades and no mind games this time."
Gatland is expecting some explosive impact from Ireland in terms of their ball-carrying ability.
"You've got Sean O'Brien and Jamie Heaslip, while Paul O'Connell carries a lot as well," he said. "We expect them to use a lot of one-off runners and it's important we try and nullify that. It's something we've been effective at in the past."