Six Nations 2013: Ireland desperate to avenge losses - Best

Rory Best
Rory Best

RBS SIX NATIONS CHAMPIONSHIP: WALES V IRELAND

Venue:
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Date:
Saturday 2 February
Kick-off:
13:30 GMT
Coverage:
Watch live on BBC One NI, BBC One HD, Red Button and online; listen on BBC Radio Ulster; live text commentary on BBC Sport website; watch again on BBC iPlayer

Hooker Rory Best says Ireland are desperate to end a run of three defeats by Wales when the sides meet in the Six Nations opener in Cardiff on Saturday.

That sequence includes a 2011 World Cup quarter-final loss in Wellington.

"When you lose to a team you double your effort to make sure you don't lose the next time you play each other," said Ulster hooker Best.

"We've been on the wrong side of the results in the last three games and we badly want to put the record straight."

Wales controversially won 19-13 when the sides last met in the Six Nations at the Millennium Stadium and then claimed a 22-10 success in the World Cup last-eight encounter.

The inter-Celtic rivalry continued in last year's Six Nations tournament when the harsh sin-binning of Stephen Ferris enabled Leigh Halfpenny to kick the 80th-minute match-winning penalty.

"Wales probably feel they have bit of a number on us, but we won the previous two games before losing three," added Best.

"It hasn't got nasty, but we're not happy with our recent record."

The fact Wales have lost their last seven matches since winning the 2012 Grand Slam will provide cause for optimism for the Irish.

Best, restored to the Ireland starting line-up after missing the autumn Tests with a neck injury, is raring to go this weekend.

"It's an exciting time because it's a level playing field. Every team is on the same number of points.

"Right up until 13:30 GMT on Saturday it's anyone's Grand Slam to win. Come Sunday there will be only three teams who can do the Grand Slam and from that point of view it's exciting.

"No matter how many campaigns you've been involved in, this is the bit you look forward to - you enjoy meeting up with the lads in training, but we're all in it to play in these big games."

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