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U-20s braced for 'pretty seismic physical battle'


Kieran Campbell. Photo: Sportsfile

Kieran Campbell. Photo: Sportsfile


Kieran Campbell. Photo: Sportsfile

Ireland U-20s defence coach Kieran Campbell has warned his players to expect a major backlash against Wales on Friday night.

Wales suffered a shock defeat at home to Italy last week, while Ireland come into the clash at Irish Independent Park buoyed by having secured a bonus-point win over Scotland.

Ireland won't have been totally satisfied, however, particularly in the manner in which they allowed the Scots back into the game.

"Wales aren't going to be particularly happy, arriving after losing to Italy," Campbell said. "You can imagine the paint coming off the wall a little bit in terms of getting them prepared for this week. We are going to get a pretty seismic physical battle on Friday.

"The thing is when you understand that... it's not getting to the stage where we are the form team, they are the underdog coming in so they will have a level of emotion and intensity that will come with that.

"How do we prepare for that? We have to be as good if not better than we were against Scotland in the opening passages of the game, make sure that we build ourselves comfortably into the match, take control and impose ourselves from the beginning.

"That will drain that emotion from them. We are fortunate with the way things are going in Cork that we seem to get a lot of vociferous support. Hopefully that will drain that level of emotion that they are going to arrive with on Friday."

Campbell, who won three Ireland caps, will be working overtime this week as he looks to shore up his side's defence.

"What we talked about is that consistency in delivering the line speed but the level of collision that is necessary at this level, I think the guys have learned that, that you are not going to get a collision that you are going to win easily," he added.

Irish Independent