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Jones claims Wales look exhausted ahead of decisive Six Nations Saturday

16 Марта 2019

Wales have named an unchanged team to face Ireland on Saturday for their final Six Nations encounter.

Sean O'Brien returns to the back row in place of Josh van der Flier, who limped off early in the win over Les Bleus.

"Sometimes it is frustrating because one opposition coach has tried to create that story and people have picked it up without doing their own analysis", said Schmidt ahead of the home game with Wales previous year.

Jones said of Wales: 'You can see they're getting exhausted.

"Since then he's resurrected Welsh rugby and it's so important for world rugby to have a strong Welsh team".

Indeed it was one of the rare occasions the normally equable temperament of Schmidt's has evaporated, in public at least, at a press conference two days before the teams met in Dublin previous year.

"I pride myself on the record I've had in big matches when it has really mattered", added Gatland, ahead of his final Six Nations game as Wales head coach before he steps down later this year.

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As rugby fans try to make sense of it all, they know that if Wales beat Ireland in Cardiff they will be crowned Six Nations champions.

"I'm just saying what I see".

"The only thing we can control, regardless of the result, is how well we play". Great credit to them for what they've done, but they are starting to look a bit exhausted.

But when asked if he had any figures to back up that assertion, the 59-year-old Jones replied: "No figures for it, just fading eyesight".

They may both be New Zealanders, who played alongside one another on one occasion, but while Gatland socialises with another coach also known for his witticisms, Eddie Jones, he and Schmidt are more likely to trade barbs than anecdotes. 'If it was me, I'd be concentrating on playing Scotland.

Although England ran in 57 points last weekend I don't feel Jones will have learnt much about the Te'o-Manu Tuilagi partnership because Italy weren't much of a test.

"They've made more tackles than anyone else in the tournament and they're playing against an Ireland side that seems to be peaking at the right time".

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Jones claims Wales look exhausted ahead of decisive Six Nations Saturday