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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
Shanklin gets nasty
Tom Shanklin
Wales threequarter Tom Shanklin says the team need to address criticism of their timidity when they meet Italy in Saturday's crucial Pool D encounter.

Steve Hansen's side were out-muscled by the Azzurri in February's 30-22 Six Nations defeat in Rome, and Italy compared favourably to Wales in World Cup performances against Tonga.

"We need to be more physical and aggressive," Shanklin told BBC Sport Wales. "I don't just mean in the forwards, but from one to 15.

"We have to get more nasty - if we can do that we can dominate sides."

Physically I believe that Italy are a much more aggressive side than Wales
Tonga coach Jim Love
Wales' players have been stung by criticism from Tonga coach Jim Love that their forwards are not as aggressive as Italy's.

"Physically I believe that Italy are a much more aggressive side than Wales, but other than that I'd say it was 50/50 between them," commented Love after seeing his side edged out 27-20 by Wales on Sunday.

Wales prop Adam Jones, touted by former national coach Graham Henry as the man to cornerstone Wales' pack, summed up the response of the Welsh camp.

"Some of the comments have been heard by the boys and we hope to prove them wrong," said Jones.

  • Wales fly-half Stephen Jones, who is battling with Ceri Sweeney for the starting spot against Italy, sat out training on Tuesday with a dead leg.

    The injury is not thought to be serious and he is expected to be available for selection.

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