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Davies - Italy won't be pushovers

Jonathan Davies has urged Wales to be patient and "not force the issue" when they tackle RBS 6 Nations opponents Italy on Saturday.

Wales have averaged almost 40 points a time over their previous Six Nations meetings with the Azzurri in Cardiff. And although a repeat performance is expected by many this weekend, Davies does not expect things to come easy.

"We have got to make sure we keep the ball and are patient with it, not to expect things to happen straight away," the Wales centre said. "I think people might expect things to happen instantly with the back-line we have got, but we've got to make sure we build and not force the issue."

He added: "We expect an extremely tough game, because it always is, but we have got to make sure we keep the ball in play and keep a high tempo and work the Italians. Hopefully, that will bear fruit in the last 20 minutes or so.

"We expect to be in a tough fight. We need to keep in that arm wrestle and make sure we power through and take our chances when they come."

Wales are closing in on a second Six Nations title and Grand Slam of coach Warren Gatland's four-year reign.

Victory over Italy would leave them needing to beat France in Cardiff on Saturday week for another tournament clean sweep.

Both previous Six Nations Grand Slams - in 2005 under Mike Ruddock and 2008 - were completed on home soil, so all the odds favour Wales backing up their status as World Cup semi-finalists by being crowned European champions.

"The squad is pretty grounded," Davies added. "We all know there is a lot of expectation on us, but I think we can handle that. There is a good feeling within the squad and we know what is expected on the field. We are all working hard and doing our jobs, and we are not going away from that.

"The competition within the squad is fierce at the moment, and it is making training that much more intense. We are working at such a high level now in training."

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