Six Nations 2017: Wales' Luke Charteris says he is ready to start against Ireland

Luke Charteris
Luke Charteris has won 72 caps for Wales since making his debut in November 2004

Wales second row Luke Charteris says he is ready to start in their Six Nations match against Ireland on Friday.

Charteris missed the first two matches against Italy and England with a broken hand but was a second-half replacement in the 29-13 defeat in Scotland.

After starting for Bath in their 24-3 defeat by Wasps on Saturday, Charteris believes he is ready to face Ireland in Cardiff six days later.

"I feel good and would give it a go," the Bath lock said.

Scarlets second row Jake Ball has partnered captain Alun Wyn Jones in the first three games.

Charteris, who will celebrate his 34th birthday on Thursday, played just under an hour in Bath's defeat against Premiership leaders Wasps at the Rec.

"It was a fast paced game," he said.

"It was good to get a run out, it has been a stop start season so far.

"The hand felt good, which was the main thing. I might have been back sooner but I managed to pull my hamstring in training.

"I am fully over that now with two games under my belt.

"Hopefully it will be good to finish the season, stay injury free and play some rugby."

Fellow Welsh forward Taulupe Faletau played 80 minutes for Bath and is battling for a starting spot in the back row after recovering from a knee problem.

"It is good to see him back," added Charteris.

"He is a quality player and you can see when he gets his hands on the ball he is such a threat."

Record breaker

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Charteris played a key role in Wales' last Six Nations win over Ireland two years ago when the lock made a record 31 tackles in the 23-16 victory.

That tackle tally is the most ever made by an individual in a Six Nations match, while Wales' figure of 250 is the highest total by a team in the tournament.

Charteris is hoping for a quieter defensive workload this weekend.

"Hopefully it will not be the same thing," said Charteris.

"The game is a lot easier when you control the ball better than what they do.

"It was not what we planned for that game. Ireland always control the ball well and you know you are going to be in for a tough day.

"Hopefully on Friday we can control the ball a lot better than we did the ball in that match, but we came away with the result [two years ago] which was the main thing."

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