/ Six Nations 2016

'Awesome' Brian O'Driscoll looms for Scott Williams

Updated: Friday, 07 Feb 2014 15:28 | Comments

Scott Williams scored in Wales' opening Six Nations win over Italy
Scott Williams scored in Wales' opening Six Nations win over Italy


Scott Williams is relishing the challenge that awaits him on Saturday as he prepares to face Brian O’Driscoll and Ireland.

It has been an important week in Williams' rugby career, arriving in Dublin with the Wales squad after agreeing a new two-year contract at the Scarlets.

But ahead of him is a head-to-head with Ireland midfield talisman O'Driscoll.

"I've grown up watching [O’Driscoll],” Williams said. "He is a world-class player and I am just really looking forward to the challenge at the weekend.

"I've played against him a couple of times before and it has gone all right. He's in form, and has got every part of the game you need.

"He is an awesome defender and has great hands as well, so it's going to be a bit of a challenge to defend against him."

"If you are going to win the title, you have got to take something on the road" - Neil Jenkins

Centre Williams scored a try when Wales opened their Six Nations campaign with a 23-15 victory over Italy last weekend, but the second-half showing proved disappointing as the home side failed to build on a 14-point interval advantage.

Williams' midfield partnership with Jamie Roberts, though, was one of the game's success stories from a Welsh perspective, and he has another chance on Saturday to show his quality.

"Every opportunity I get, I try and give 100 per cent. If I play well, I'm happy," he said. "I am just trying to make the most of my opportunities.

"I've got number 13 on my back, but in the game with Italy me and Jamie swapped quite a bit in open play and during some of our set-piece stuff. We will try to mix it up again.

"I thought Jamie was outstanding last weekend, coming back from his injuries. In my opinion, he was the man of the match. He carried the ball strongly and got us over the gain line. This Saturday, I am going to just try to be on his shoulder again."

Wales completed their preparations with a work-out in the Dublin sunshine on Friday; the forecast for match-day, though, is rain and strong winds They know what is coming from a high quality Ireland team.

"We are fortunate at the moment that we have a special group of players," Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde said. "They are relatively young, but they have got a wealth of experience under their belts. They know what works and how to win these [types] of matches.

"We know that Ireland score pretty much the majority of their points in the first half, so we have got to start well. We've got to make sure we are on the money, and if any opportunities come our way we have got to be clinical."

Wales kicking coach Neil Jenkins said that there was “a calmness” about his side, “but there is an edge about us as well. If you are going to win the title, you have got to take something on the road.

"If we play well, it is a game we feel we can do well in. We've got to back ourselves, we know it is going to be tough, but we've done it before.

"Our main focus is on ourselves and whatever we bring to the party. We have just got to be on edge and be ready to roll."

Live television coverage of Ireland v Wales and Scotland v England from 13:30 on Saturday 8 February, and France v Italy from 14:30 on Sunday 9 February on RTÉ Two and RTE.ie (Ireland only). Live radio coverage on Saturday Sport (14:00) and Sunday Sport (14:00) on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).

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