Six Nations 2018: Defence and discipline key for Wales in Dublin - Edwards

Shaun Edwards
Shaun Edwards has been an assistant coach with Wales for eight years
Six Nations: Ireland v Wales
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday, 24 February Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Coverage: Live on S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary

Wales will have to produce a huge and disciplined defensive effort to beat Ireland in Dublin, says Shaun Edwards.

Defence coach Edwards expects his team to make more than 200 tackles against the side who have dominated possession in their 2018 Six Nations matches.

Ireland have not lost a home in the tournament for five years.

"We're expecting to have to make 200 tackles, they are a team who very rarely lose the ball. They wear teams down," Edwards said.

"They've obviously got - and I wouldn't say this usually - legendary half backs.

"They've got a big powerful steamrolling pack and they've got pace out wide.

"There's a reason why they have only lost one of their last 21 games at home - and that was against the All Blacks - and that is because they are a formidable team.

"We're under no illusions."

Wales started their tournament with a 34-7 win against Scotland before losing narrowly to England in Twickenham.

Ireland are unbeaten after a last-gasp win in Paris and a comfortable home victory against Italy.

Johnny Sexton
Johnny Sexton's long-range drop-goal in the 83rd minutes gave Ireland the win against France in Paris.

The teams drew 16-all in Dublin in the 2016 tournament, but England were the last away team to win in the Six Nations at the Aviva Stadium - in February 2013.

Warren Gatland's side conceded only two penalties in 80 minutes as they slipped to a 12-6 defeat at Twickenham in the last round of matches and will have to be just as disciplined this time, says Edwards.

"The best way will be to keep hold of the ball ourselves and keep their attack out of the game," he added.

"We're going to have to be disciplined again. Ireland have a formidable driven lineout and you don't want to be giving away too many penalties in your own 22.

"You look at the stats throughout the Six Nations, the side that's had the ball more than any other team is nearly always Ireland.

"This year it's more than 60 per cent - they don't give the ball away - and we're going to maintain our discipline and intelligent aggression at the breakdown and tackle area."

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