Dafydd Jenkins Insists Wales Upset Against Ireland Is Possible

Ireland v Wales

Dafydd Jenkins Insists Wales Upset Against Ireland Is Possible

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By David Parsons

Wales skipper Dafydd Jenkins has already notched one win over an Irish side with Exeter Chiefs against Munster in the Champions Cup this season.

Now he is eyeing up an even bigger upset than toppling the URC champions with his young Welsh side in Dublin in this weekend’s third round of the Six Nations.

“It’s a massive challenge going to Ireland, who are probably the No 1 team in the world at the moment, but it’s really exciting to challenge ourselves against the best with no fear and no pressure,” said Jenkins.

“We can 100 per cent cause an upset. If we didn’t think that there would be no point in going there in the first place.

“We have full confidence we can win and do a job, although it is going to be tough.”

Wales will be massive underdogs at the Aviva Stadium on a day when Peter O’Mahoney’s men will be looking to match England’s record of 11 straight wins.

If they can do that they will be well on their way to making history by recording the first back-to-back Grand Slams in the Six Nations.

Wales haven’t won in Dublin since 2015 and last won there in the Championship in 2012.

They have lost nine off their last 10 Six Nations matches and were pipped by a point to Scotland and then two points against England in their two games to date.

“We’ve had that underdog tag for quite a while now, but we’re still not winning. We are really chasing that win and there is no pressure on us – we’ve got nothing to lose,” added Jenkins.

“We just need to go out there, leave everything out there and see what can happen. You don’t like being underdogs, because you work so hard to be the best, but that’s the state we are in.

“Fair play to Ireland, they are a class outfit and have demonstrated why they are the best team in the world in the last couple of weeks.”

Jenkins admitted to being impressed with how hard Munster, led by Tadhg Beirne, battled at the breakdown against his club side, Exeter Chiefs, earlier in the season.

That is an area in which Wales know they have to be highly competitive on Saturday.

“They pride themselves on the breakdown both on attack and in defence – it is massive for them, They have some class players for us to match up against,” he added.

“The breakdown has been a big focus this week. We talked about their pack and most of them are world class jackalers, so I’s going to be a challenge, but one we are looking forward to.

“If we give our backline a chance, we feel we can cause them problems out wide, so it is down to the pack to get them the ball.”

Leading the charge in the battle of the breakdown for Wales will be their turnover king Tommy Reffell.

Renowned for putting his head in where it hurts most, the Leicester Tigers back row man has played a starring role to date this season against the Scots and English.

“Tommy is probably one of the best in the world at that and he’s proved that in the last couple of weeks. It’s an honour to play with him,” said Jenkins.

“We’ve all got to step up in that department, but he is leading the way in terms of his performances.

“When you see a player doing special things like he did at Twickenham and against Scotland, it makes you want to raise your game.”

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