/ Six Nations 2014

Wales U20 full-back Afon Bagshaw ready for stern Ireland test

Updated: Friday, 07 Feb 2014 19:30 | Comments

Ross Byrne kicked 14 points against Scotland last week
Ross Byrne kicked 14 points against Scotland last week

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Full-back Afon Bagshaw admits his Wales Under 20 debut last weekend was a baptism of fire – but tonight's clash with Ireland will be an even bigger challenge.

Wales were 26-9 winners over Italy in Colwyn Bay last Friday, Bagshaw playing the full 80 minutes, but attentions now turn to the encounter with Ireland in Athlone (7.35pm) as Wales look to make it two wins from two.

The game promises to be a tight affair with Ireland unbeaten in their last six home matches while Wales have won their last three away games and lost just one of their last six matches in the competition.

Bagshaw keeps his place at full-back for the clash with Mike Ruddock's Ireland at Dubarry Park in a Wales side which shows five changes to the one which beat Italy.

"We know what Ireland are going to bring, they will be a physical, stern challenge both in defence and attack so we're looking forward to it as a team,” said Bagshaw.

"I tried not to overthink things before the game with Italy but little things crept in like playing at Eirias, my home ground and the big crowd that was there.

"It did give me a bit of a tear in my eye to be honest – it was such an emotional occasion before the game and afterwards, it was a relief as I realised what I'd achieved.”

"Ireland will be a big step up defensively"

While Wales got the better of Italy in the opening round, Ireland were convincing 34-7 winners over Scotland.

"Ireland will be a big step up defensively. Having been out there two years ago, we know it will be a tough challenge,” said Wales head coach Byron Hayward.

"They will pose more challenges to us than Italy did and we will have to be ready for those.”

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