Off The Ball
Off The Ball

19.29 6 Mar 2015


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There is just over one week to go before Ireland pick up the oval ball and drive past another of the other Six Nations teams in our quest to claim the Grand Slam.

Wales are the next side standing in our way and with that in mind Brian O'Driscoll and Off The Ball were joined on the line by former Wales flanker Martyn Williams.

A man who pitched up against Brian in many a Six Nations game, but was also a regular team-mate and room-mate on Lions tours, 'Nugget' as Brian calls him, gave us an insight into the Welsh threat before the upcoming fixture.

"This bunch is a strange bunch, really. It's all or nothing. Once they get a bit of momentum and confidence, they just seem a totally different side," said Williams, who felt his former side "scraped a win against Scotland" but were "superb" against France in Paris last week.

Ireland's Conor Murray passes to Sexton ©INPHO/Colm O'Neill

In 2013, Wales famously lost their opening Six Nations game to Ireland, but the land of the dragon roared back and beat England in the final match to claim the championship and Williams thinks Warren Gatland's side are steeling themselves to do the same again in 2015.

As for Ireland, Williams he said: "They haven't set the world alight in the style of rugby they play and I think we'd all agree with that. They're so organised and they have a great set piece with Paulie [O'Connell] there running the lineout. The half-backs just control the game as well as I've seen any half-back partnership. They all sing off the same hymn sheet and that goes a long way. I can assure you, we'll be nervous especially if Mr Sexton is fit for next week. That could be the key."  

Williams also gave his take on why Wales struggle at provincial level but then do extremely well on the international stage, while he and Brian reminisced about their favourite Lions tours experiences together and how team bonding is less prevalent now.


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