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Let's get physical, says Warburton

By Andrew Baldock

Published 06/02/2016

Stiff test: Sam Warburton's Wales face Ireland
Stiff test: Sam Warburton's Wales face Ireland

Wales will aim to erase memories of a dreadful Dublin away-day when they launch their RBS 6 Nations campaign against defending champions Ireland on Sunday.

And Wales captain Sam Warburton, who is among just five survivors in the starting line-up from a 26-3 Aviva Stadium defeat two years ago, believes his team must be "physical and direct" when they return to the scene of that crushing loss.

Wales have toppled Ireland in Dublin since then - they claimed a World Cup warm-up win last summer - but there is a degree of pain that lingers from 2014 when Ireland's forwards battered Warburton and company into submission.

"They just got a really good start - we had to defend quite a few phases for the first 20 or 30 minutes," Warburton said.

"All I remember is the Irish crowd were so loud, and you could see the team feeding off that, and they kept growing through the game.

"Trying to stop that early on will be pretty important (tomorrow).

"You want to start every international game well, but in particular on that occasion I can remember them getting their tails up as soon as the crowd started getting behind them.

"So I think we have to try to stick a pin in that balloon early on by becoming physical and direct and executing our game-plan to get us into the game pretty early.

"Since I've been involved, Ireland have always been one of the toughest fixtures in the Six Nations .

"Last year (in Cardiff) was probably the most physical Six Nations fixture I've played in, in terms of the way I felt after that match. It's pretty much the same year on year with Ireland, so we always expect a huge amount from them."

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