Six Nations 2017: Tomas Francis relieved at Wales reprieve

Tomas Francis in conversation with Wales coach Rob Howley during a training session
Tomas Francis has made 20 appearances for Wales
Six Nations: Wales v Ireland
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff Date: Friday, 10 March Kick-off: 20:05 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One Wales & S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Wales prop Tomas Francis admitted he was relieved when coach Rob Howley named an unchanged team for Friday's Six Nations match with Ireland.

The 24-year-old tight-head is among the starting XV who are given a chance to redeem themselves after the 29-13 defeat by Scotland.

Asked if he was relieved to be retained, the Exeter Chiefs player replied: "Oh yeah.

"Obviously you want to keep your place and after a loss everyone was on edge."

Francis continued: "It's good we've got a good squad and a good depth especially in my position.

"There's Samson [Lee] there's me and there's Rhods [Rhodri Jones] and there's Scott Andrews.

"If you don't have a good game there's someone knocking ready to do anything to take your place."

Media playback is not supported on this device

Wales players can 'redeem themselves'

Wales go into Friday night's match in Cardiff off the back of defeats by Scotland and England.

Another defeat will mean it would be Wales' worst championship since 2010 and Francis accepts the players have something to prove at the Principality Stadium.

Francis says he has managed to avoid the worst of the criticism aimed at the team in Wales because he plays his club rugby in the south west of England.

"It's a bit like a fishbowl isn't it," he said.

"When the game doesn't go how you want it's quite hard not to take that personally especially if you look at the press.

"I guess I'm lucky in the weeks after the losses I've been back in Exeter.

"I didn't have to stay here and I sort of managed to get away from that and focus on something else and then come back into it.

"It's not a nation is it? It's a little part of the south west and there's only a few papers that will print anything about the rugby, but here it's all over the news."

Top Stories