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Gatland blasts Wales display

Warren Gatland accused his Wales players of failing to turn up against France after watching them crash to the heaviest RBS 6 Nations defeat of his reign.

Gatland's side arrived at the Stade de France with an outside chance of capitalising on England's earlier Grand Slam misery, but they suffered a meltdown of their own to slump from second to fourth in this season's final standings.

The 28-9 defeat was also their worst for five years and head coach Gatland said: "Very disappointing performance by us. We conceded too many turnovers in the opposition half and some soft penalties as well at a couple of key moments. Unfortunately for us, I don't think we turned up ."

Gatland questioned his side's ability to handle the weight of expectation on them following England's defeat in Ireland.

"We had an opportunity," he said. "Sometimes as a team we love the underdog tag, we love when we're under a bit of pressure.

"But when the expectation is that we go out there and perform, we've struggled with those expectations.

"For me, that's the disappointing thing."

If Gatland's players failed to turn up figuratively, defence coach Shaun Edwards was absent literally in Paris.

Edwards did not travel with the squad having been disciplined following an alleged confrontation with a fellow member of Wales' backroom team after last Saturday's victory over Ireland.

"That's an internal matter that I'm not prepared to discuss in public," said Gatland when asked if the issue had adversely affected his side's preparations.


From Belfast Telegraph