Nick Tompkins insists Wales are relishing a serious challenge from Ireland in Dublin

Nick Tompkins says Wales are excited and not daunted by the challenge they face against Guinness Six Nations title favorites Ireland on Saturday.

The odds are stacked against Wales, who have not won a Six Nations game in Dublin since 2012 and face a team threateningly heading towards winning two Grand Slams in a row.

More than a third of Wales’ 23 matchdays feature single-digit international appearances, while the highly experienced Irish team last suffered a Six Nations defeat two years ago.

Asked if there was a more daunting test in world rugby than facing Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, Wales center Tompkins said: “I don’t know what’s daunting.

“Discouraging makes it sound like we are afraid. We are not. We are excited.

“Realistically, we have nothing to lose. It’s a big challenge, but you need these big ones.

“There is no point in playing against a mediocre team and it will be good to see where we are.”

Wales lost their first two Six Nations games against Scotland and England by a combined three points and could easily have come to Dublin with an unbeaten record.

Scotland secured a 27-26 win in Cardiff after Wales scored 26 points without conceding a goal, while at Twickenham a late penalty from George Ford restored Wales’ nine-point lead at the break.

However, Ireland have consistently proven themselves to be the current dominant force in Northern Hemisphere rugby, with Wales facing by far their toughest test since the return of Warren Gatland for a second spell as head coach ahead of last season’s Six Nations.

Tompkins added: “If we disagree on any issue or any aspect of the game, they will pounce on it.

I’m not saying you can’t make mistakes, but in those moments when you’re under pressure you can’t let them go

Nick Tompkins

“We talked this week about the need to give your all at all times and in every area of ​​the game. It also has to last (for) 80 minutes.

“We’ve made it too big for ourselves, we’re concentrating on ourselves, but the boys know what’s ahead.

“I’m not saying you can’t make mistakes, but in those moments when you’re under pressure you can’t let them go.

“It’s nice when you have some of those younger guys. They don’t have that fear, that naivety.

“It’s quite nice, so you try it out, install it and go out and play and enjoy it for a bit. If you do that against Scotland and come back and should have won it or almost won it, it just shows where we can take it.

“I don’t want them to go there and worry about external aspects or we can’t beat them or we can’t do it, I want them to go there and just be themselves and be confident about it and enjoy it.”

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