Caelan Doris expecting stiff contest against Wales

Caelan Doris says Ireland are fully focussed for the game against Wales
Caelan Doris says Ireland are fully focussed for the game against Wales
©Steve Haag

Ireland back row Caelan Doris said his side are wary of the challenge from Wales as the two teams lock horns with each other in the third round of the Six Nations at Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

Ireland started the campaign with dominating wins over France and Italy in the opening two rounds and are at the top of the table as they chase a second successive Grand Slam. They are two points ahead of England in second, and have scored seven more tries and conceded three less than their closest challengers.

Meanwhile, Wales had two close games as they were edged out by Scotland with a 26-27 margin followed by another 14-16 loss against England. Even though Wales are at fifth position in the table, Doris insisted that Ireland have high respect for Warren Gatland and his side.

“Wales were impressive in the second half against Scotland (scoring 26 points after being 27-0 down at half-time). They didn’t look themselves in the first half at all.

"Given (Warren) Gatland and the leader and coach he is, some of the quality they have as well, I was expecting at least a bit of a comeback. But it was impressive the way they dealt with that.

“Again last week (against England) they were showing signs of…it’s obviously quite a young team with a few changes, they are definitely showing some positive signs.

“I’m sure they are going to improve over this week off, building into next week and as the tournament goes on. I think given the rivalry we’ve had with them and the nature of the Triple Crown game to come, it is going to be a big test.”

Doris also heaped praises on fly-half Jack Crowley, who is looking to make a mark for himself following the retirement of Johnny Sexton.

"Jack’s been class. He’s still so young (at 24) but he has a wise head on his shoulders.

“He’s calm, steady, and he seems like he’s taking things in his stride pretty well. It’s a challenging position, to take over from Johnny and try and make sure he’s fulfilling the expectation of filling those boots.

“Johnny is probably our best ever player, an unbelievable number 10, and one of the best in the world, at the top of his game at 38. It’s a different ball game altogether, but Jack has been unbelievable."


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