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Gatland expecting Ireland to seek revenge for World Cup exit

The Wales coach has spoken of the threat posed by a team still feeling the pain of last year’s quarter-final defeat.

Gatland is expected to wait until tomorrow to name his team.
Gatland is expected to wait until tomorrow to name his team.
Image: David Davies/PA Wire/Press Association Images

WALES COACH WARREN Gatland believes Ireland will be intent on putting the bad memories of the World Cup behind them with a win over his team on Sunday.

Declan Kidney’s side went out at the quarter-final stage of October’s tournament after a 22-10 scoreline in favour of the Welsh and the New Zealander knows that will play on the minds of the Irish players ahead of the meeeting at the Aviva Stadium.

“That’s when they (Ireland) are incredibly dangerous – when they talk about payback,” Gatland said on the BBC’s website.

They will be disappointed with the way they played in the quarter-final. I thought it was an excellent Welsh performance, so that means that they talk about revenge.”

The game with Wales is followed up by a trip to Paris for the clash with last year’s Six Nations winners France on February 11 so a solid performance in the opening match is vital.

Gatland, who will delay the announcement of his starting XV until tomorrow because of several injury concerns, also added that the achievements of Ulster, Leinster and Munster in the Heineken Cup can only be an advantage for Ireland.

“You have got to look to their provinces. They are doing extremely well – three teams in the quarter-finals of the European Cup. So it’s going to be a tough ask for us.”

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Ben Blake

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