Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde has issued a clear message to his side’s British and Irish Lions hopefuls — on the day Lions head coach Warren Gatland paid them a flying visit.
Gatland will announce the Lions squad for this summer’s New Zealand tour in seven weeks’ time, with a number of Wales players expected to make the 10-match trip.
He was an observer at Wales’ training base in the Vale of Glamorgan yesterday as part of intensive pre-selection work, but McBryde warned his players would need to “raise their game” to make the tour having suffered successive RBS 6 Nations defeats for the first time since 2010.
“It is good to catch up with Warren,” McBryde said.
“It is good to hear his thoughts on the game and good for us to have another set of eyes and just being able to discuss things. It is also a gentle reminder to the players that there are Lions eyes upon us as well.
“There is a Lions tour, and I am sure that will be at the back of the minds of the players. If there is to be any chance of them going on that tour, they have to raise their game.”
McBryde admitted that the debrief following Wales’ 29-13 Murrayfield mauling — they conceded 20 unanswered second-half points — had been a painful one.
“It was pretty painful for all of us — coaches and players,” McBryde said.
“It’s something that hasn’t happened in a while, losing two games on the bounce in the Six Nations.”
McBryde is particularly wary of Ireland’s threat up front.
“Ireland are going to bring something different to Scotland, and we must be prepared.
“There is no magic remedy, no magic pill, you have just to roll your sleeves up and work harder until you get the next result. They (Ireland) did what they had to do against France (last weekend).
“They have got a strong set-piece, a strong maul and they are very clinical when they get opportunities. They have had a great run of results and back things up. They are consistent, have a number of experienced players and a game-plan everybody understands, so it’s going to be a challenge.”
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