Warren Gatland hit back at former Ireland international Alan Quinlan and insisted he was far from bitter about his Wales team’s defeat in Dublin.
Wales were beaten 19-10 at the Aviva Stadium in their final World Cup warm-up match and afterwards Gatland admitted Ireland’s forwards were too good for his men in the second half. “Ireland went back to what they are traditionally good at,” Gatland said. “They just play phase after phase, get a penalty chance, kick the ball downfield, and try and squeeze you in your 22.”
Those comments annoyed Quinlan, who who won 27 Ireland caps from the back-row. He described Gatland’s view as “b*******” and suggested the New Zealander is still bitter with Irish rugby following his unsuccessful 38-match spell as head coach from 1998 and 2001.
“I like Gatty, but that stuff irritated me after the game. It was condescending and insulting,” Quinlan said. “There is a bitterness in Warren about what happened to him a long time ago when he got shafted here. What he was saying is absolute b*******.”
Speaking at Wales’ first World Cup press conference in the southern Japanese city of Kitakyushu on Sunday, Gatland addressed Quinlan’s attack on him. It is understood the experienced coach was confused by Quinlan’s comments, given that he thought he had praised Ireland.
“I thought I was pretty complimentary about Ireland. I said they deserved to win and choked us in the second half.
“They played a style of rugby which was successful, so I don’t know how he (Quinlan) could interpret that.
“I’d said they thoroughly deserved to win. They dominated us and choked us in the second half.
“There was no bitterness about the result.”
Wales face Georgia in their first World Cup clash on September 23, and Gatland’s side have been training with balls coated in baby oil to replicate the match conditions they expect to face.
In Kitakyushu, temperatures are touching 30C, with humidity at around 76% and similar conditions are expected all around Japan in the early stages of the World Cup.
“We’ve been using wet balls and been using baby oil on them,” said Gatland.
“It’s how we cope with that. If we win the first game we can go a long way in this tournament.”
Gatland revealed that locks Adam Beard and Cory Hill are set to miss the Georgia game with the former yet to arrive in Japan after having his appendix removed.
Hill — who hasn’t played since February — is still recovering a small leg fracture, while out-half Rhys Patchell is making a slow return to training after suffering a concussion against Ireland.