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Thomas says fast start key for Wales against Ireland

NEWS: Gareth Thomas has urged Wales to go at Ireland right from the kick-off when they bid for a shock win away to the Six Nations Championship leaders on Saturday.

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The odds appear stacked against Wales, not only have they lost nine of their last 10 Six Nations games against all opponents, they have also gone 12 years without a Championship win in Dublin.

Ireland, by contrast, are chasing successive Six Nations Grand Slams and have won 38 of their last 40 Tests at home.

“It is obviously going to be a challenge for us,” said prop Thomas, with Warren Gatland’s new-look side having suffered agonising losses to Scotland and England in the two opening rounds of the tournament.

“But talking to the boys in the week and last week and saying how exciting it is if we get it right in terms of what we need to do, it will be a class challenge for us.

“It is going to hurt, but it is going to feel good if we get those bits right,” the 30-year-old added.

The Ospreys front rower, who will be winning his 28th cap this weekend, added: “I think starting fast, just going at them, not accepting their style of play, because if they get what they want they will be very good.

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“I think just going after them, going at them, beating them physically, if we don’t start like that then we have no chance.

“They are playing some really good rugby at the minute, but watching the first two games (against France and Italy), people are letting them play like that.

“So it is up to us to go at them defensively and stop that smooth kind of attack they have got.”

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