Wales plan to knock Georgia off stride early

FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - International Test - France v Wales - Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France - October 24, 2020 Wales' Justin Tipuric reacts REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

LLANELLI, Wales (Reuters) - Wales need to put Georgia off their stride early if they are to win their Nations Cup clash on Saturday and end a six test losing streak, said captain Justin Tipuric on the eve of the match at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli.

“It will be hard graft up front. We know it’s going to be hard and physical and to get the backs involved in the game we are going to need to perform up front,” he told a news conference on Friday.

“If you let them into the game, and they get confident, and if their set-piece is dominant, and they get a few driving mauls going, they are a different animal, so we need to make sure we start well and attack them. We cannot just expect a win is going to come, we are going to have to go hard out there.”

Tipuric skippers a much-changed side from last Friday’s 32-9 loss in Dublin to Ireland, where another defeat heaped further pressure on coach Wayne Pivac and his squad.

“The boys are frustrated, no one likes losing, but it shows that everyone cares. We want to get better, we don’t want to be losing. It’s about knuckling down and getting better,” Tipuric added.

Wales have a second string out against Georgia, including a first cap for James Botham, grandson of England cricket great Ian Botham.

Wales beat Georgia 43-14 at last year’s World Cup in Japan but three years ago were almost upset as they edged home 13-6 in a test in Cardiff.

Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Ken Ferris