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Wales assistant coach McBryde has no intention of delivering Italy’s ‘team talk’

Wales will go into their Six Nations clash against Italy on March 11 as strong favourites to claim a bonus point victory over the Azzurri.

Ireland v Wales – RBS Six Nations – Aviva Stadium
Ireland v Wales – RBS Six Nations – Aviva Stadium

Robin McBryde says he will not engage in bonus point talk ahead of Wales’ clash against NatWest 6 Nations strugglers Italy.

The Azzurri will arrive in Cardiff on Sunday week after conceding 136 points and 16 tries during comprehensive losses to England, Ireland and France.

Wales, despite successive away defeats at the hands of England and Ireland, can still claim a top-three finish and are favourites for victory in their remaining games – both at home – against Italy and France.

Wales have beaten Italy 10 times on the bounce, posting more than 60 points in two of the last three Six Nations meetings.

And even with Wales head coach Warren Gatland likely to make a number of changes from the side beaten 37-27 by Ireland three days ago, odds will favour another runaway win.

“I’m not going to talk about bonus points, because that’s just going to do their team talk for them,” Wales assistant coach and forwards specialist McBryde said.

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“What we can’t be is too frightened or scared to go out there and play rugby. We’ve got to play what we see in front of us and create opportunities in the same way we have been doing.

“We can’t get too bogged down in where we are going to end up in the Six Nations.

“There is a bigger picture of the (2019) World Cup we need to think about. I know it’s next year, but there aren’t too many opportunities to see young players on the big stage.”

One area Wales will need to address is possession, having been starved of it for much of the contest in Dublin by an impressive Irish pack.

Ireland v Wales – RBS Six Nations – Aviva Stadium

“We were unable to get the ball off Ireland for large parts of the game,” McBryde added. “That’s one of the topics which has to be raised.

“I had a good chat with (match referee) Glen (Jackson) following the game regarding the contact area, and I felt there were some inconsistencies with his decisions, but there are no two ways about it, we could have done our work a lot better.

“We gave away soft penalties and Ireland just made it so difficult for us to get at their ball. We’ve got to put our thinking caps on and come up with an answer.

“We’ve got to come up with a plan to find a way to get into the game when we are starved of possession. It was very hard with so little possession to make any inroads on them.”

Scarlets prop Wyn Jones, meanwhile, has been released from Wales’ Six Nations squad due to injury.

The 26-year-old suffered a hamstring injury during the Ireland game and he will now continue his recovery with Scarlets’ medical team.

Jones has won eight caps and featured off the bench against Scotland, England and Ireland this month.

No replacement has been summoned at this stage, although a recall could not be ruled out for 37-year-old Gethin Jenkins – he is Wales’ record cap holder with 129 Test match appearances – if it is decided to send for a reinforcement.

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