Gatland demands Wales focus

by Setanta Staff , 06 March 2012

Wales coach Warren Gatland has said his players must "refocus sharply" for a shot at RBS Six Nations glory.

 The Welsh beat England at Twickenham last time out to win the Triple Crown but Gatland has called for an end to the celebrations ahead of the visit of Italy to the Millennium Stadium.

Victory against the Azzurri will keep Gatland's side on course for a third Grand Slam in eight years, ahead of a huge meeting with France in Cardiff on March 17.

Italy have beaten Wales in Rome, in 2003 and 2007, and also held the Welsh in Cardiff in 2006, prompting Gatland to guard against complacency.

"We are back at the Millennium Stadium in front of our home fans and we need to refocus sharply, after our Triple Crown triumph at Twickenham, if we are to give ourselves the best chance of being in contention for the Championship going into that final weekend against France," he said.

"Italy will be hoping to find us complacent and with one eye on the French game, but nothing less than victory on Saturday will be accepted by this Wales team or satisfy the nation behind us.

"All of that leaves the players themselves brimming with ruthless intent."

Sam Warburton is set to miss his second game of the competition because of a knee injury, while fit-again hooker Matthew Rees has been recalled instead of Ken Owens.

Wales (XV v Italy): L Halfpenny; A Cuthbert, J Davies, J Roberts , G North; R Priestland, M Phillips; G Jenkins, M Rees, A Jones, A-W Jones, I Evans, D Lydiate, J Tipuric, T Faletau.

Replacements: K Owens, P James, L Charteris, R Jones, L Williams, J Hook, S Williams.

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