Gavin Henson has received high-profile support from inside the Wales camp after he questioned his team's tactics during their fumbling RBS 6 Nations victory over Italy.

Wales attack coach Rob Howley claims Henson was 'spot-on' in his assessment of events at Stadio Flaminio.

Ospreys centre Henson was enraged when Wales chose to take a long-range kick at goal deep into injury time of their 20-15 victory in Rome.

He could be seen voicing his displeasure to team-mate Ryan Jones as substitute Stephen Jones lined up the penalty.

Henson wanted the ball booted out as a prelude to referee Alan Lewis blowing the final whistle, therefore denying Italy any chance of launching a last-ditch attack.

He also claimed he was ‘frustrated’ and ‘annoyed’ with the way Wales played, and needed five minutes' cooling down time in the changing room while his colleagues went back out to applaud thousands of travelling Welsh supporters.

Henson said: ‘I probably touched the ball three times, I think Jamie (Roberts) touched it once. God knows how many times the wings touched it.

‘Maybe our tactics were wrong. In saying that, we did make a lot of mistakes. If we hadn't made so many mistakes, maybe the tactics might have been right. It was just frustrating being out there.

‘This team is all about honesty and voicing your opinion, so there were a couple of discussions that went on.

‘I felt we should have attacked them more. Maybe it might have been a bit of an easier game for us if we had kept the ball a bit more, but that didn't happen.’

Former Wales captain Howley admitted Henson had a point as the reigning Six Nations champions began preparations for Saturday's title decider against Grand Slam-chasing Ireland in Cardiff.

Howley said: ‘I think he was spot-on, in fairness to him.

‘He is an intelligent footballer who understands the game. It is fair criticism in the fact we did kick too often.

‘We were disappointed as coaches, not so much about our kicking strategy but the decision-making, accuracy and length.

‘In fairness to Italy, we didn't expect them to out-kick us. Rugby is not black and white. It is about decision-making, looking up and recognising that space.

‘Coaches don't know everything and in fairness to Gavin he was spot-on. We didn't kick long enough and hopefully we will be rectifying that against Ireland next weekend.

‘We've looked at the France game when we didn't kick enough, and we've gone from one end of the spectrum to the other. That's an area we will be working on this week.

‘You want players to make decisions - coaches aren't on the field.

‘Decision-making is a huge part of the game, and our decision-making with our lack of kicking accuracy sometimes let us down.’

Ryan Jones, meanwhile, laughed off his verbal exchange with Henson.

The Wales skipper said: ‘Gav had an opinion, I had an opinion, I'm bigger than Gav so my opinion counts more than his!

‘Look, we both expressed an opinion, that was it. It has been blown out of all proportion, really.

‘There has been no fall-out over it, just two boys expressing different opinions. You speak your
mind and you move on. There are no big dramas.

‘It is not going to have any bearing on this week.’

The challenge for Wales is how they stop an Irish side chasing its first Grand Slam since 1948.

A win would secure the Triple Crown, but Wales need a minimum 13-point victory - something they have not achieved against Ireland since 1983 - to retain their Six Nations crown.

Howley added: ‘It's a huge game.

‘There is a lot of pressure. They (Ireland) haven't won the Grand Slam for so many years. We had that experience last year and we coped with that pressure.

‘Can Ireland cope with the pressure of playing against the Grand Slam champions of last season and, secondly, the Millennium (Stadium) factor?

‘We've got everything to play for - the Triple Crown - and I am sure the 13 points (margin) will be mentioned this week many times.

‘We will go out to win the game and then we will see what happens.’

Howley also reported no injury concerns in the aftermath of Rome, with Jones and full-back Lee Byrne both fine following knocks sustained against Italy.