Wales will be 'competitive' in Ireland, says Shaun Edwards

Ireland's Jamie Heaslip (centre) takes on Wales' James Hook (left) and Mike Phillips (right)
Ireland's Jamie Heaslip (centre) takes on Wales' James Hook (left) and Mike Phillips (right)

Wales will recover from their World Cup warm-up defeat to Ireland with a "more competitive" display when the sides meet again later this month, says defence coach Shaun Edwards.

Ireland scored five tries as they beat Wales 35-21 in Saturday's encounter at the Millennium Stadium.

Wales fielded an experimental side but are expected to select a stronger team in Dublin on 29 August.

"We were never planning to peak on 8 August in a rugby sense," said Edwards.

"It probably would have been a little bit different if we had played a more experienced team.

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"Come the return fixture, we would like to think we will be a lot more competitive."

Wales trailed 25-7 at half-time as their young players were exposed by their experienced opponents.

Although Ireland made 13 changes from the team that beat Scotland in March to seal the Six Nations title, none of their starting players in Cardiff were uncapped.

Wales, meanwhile, handed debuts to Eli Walker, Tyler Morgan, Ross Moriarty and Dominic Day.

Having been on training camps to Switzerland and Qatar, Wales' World Cup preparations have so far been primarily fitness-based.

It was only in the week leading up to the Ireland match that the squad started training with the ball in earnest, and Edwards admits that had an effect against Joe Schmidt's side.

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"We only really had one week's rugby training before the game and in the first half it probably showed," said Edwards.

"Hopefully, building up to the World Cup, we will have more rugby sessions over the next few weeks."

Wales head coach Warren Gatland will cut his 46-man squad to "36 or 38" in the next week.

Although the defeat to Ireland was only a warm-up match, Edwards was disappointed by some of his players' performances.

"Certain guys got a chance," he added.

"They haven't played together many times and the guys who are a little bit more established I would like to think they would have more cohesion than we had in the first half."

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