Warren Gatland eyes Grand Slam dream in his final Wales Six Nations game

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Wales beat Scotland 18-11 to edge closer to the Grand Slam title

Warren Gatland is relishing the possibility of winning a “dream” Grand Slam in his final Six Nations game in charge of Wales.

They moved a step closer to a tournament clean sweep with a 13th successive victory over Scotland and host Ireland next Saturday.

Gatland says full-back Liam Williams should be fit after coming off with a shoulder injury at Murrayfield.

“There will be emotion,” admitted Gatland.

“It is St Patrick’s Day next week and the Irish will be chomping at the bit.

“It is going to be a great occasion and you won’t be able to get a ticket anywhere.

“The competition is still open with England and Ireland thinking they will be in with a chance if we get knocked over.

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“We want to win this Championship and the only way we can do that is by getting the Grand Slam.

“If we can do that I can promise you there will be some serious celebrations afterwards, but we have to regroup.

“We do get an extra day over Ireland because they play on Sunday and that is going to be a challenge for them.

“There will be no lack of motivation and if that Welsh crowd can do the same thing they did against England.

“That atmosphere, drive and motivation they gave the players will have a significant impact next week.

“I am excited about it and it’s a dream we can fulfil and achieve something pretty special as a group.

“We are 13 in a row and hopefully we can do 14 now.

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Second half was nerve-wracking – Gatland

Gatland would be the first coach to win three Grand Slams.

“You break records and those are the things nobody can ever take away from you,” said Gatland.

“When you have those opportunities you have to grasp them with both hands and go out there and have no regrets.

“I am sure the players won’t have any regrets next week.”

Gatland admitted Wales might have had an eye on the Grand Slam game against Ireland at half-time at Murrayfield where they held a comfortable 15-6 lead.

Scotland roared back in the second half and Wales’ desperate defence held out for victory.

“We have spoken about forgetting how to lose and winning has become a habit,” said Gatland.

“These guys are finding ways to dig deep and in the past under that sort of pressure I am not sure they would have had the mental strength to keep them out.

“But these guys are finding ways to do that and that is what good sides do.

“These guys have got the trust and belief in the team-mates to fulfil their own roles and that’s incredibly important at the highest level.”

Domestic troubles

Gatland praised the players’ reaction after a troubled build-up had been dominated by a Wales regional rugby row which saw a proposed merger between Scarlets and Ospreys dismissed by both sides.

“This is a fantastic group of men and they are pretty tight,” said Gatland.

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“There is no doubt Monday and Tuesday had an impact on the players. We didn’t train very well on Tuesday and we did not defend well, which is normally our main defensive day.

“We have had to back that up on Thursday and Friday and tidy some stuff up. After that early start to the week the players have kind of got on with their job.

“There is a lot of emotion involved with everyone and I take my hat off to them about how they have dug deep.”

World league worry

Gatland also spoke on the other rugby controversy of the week, which has included World Rugby outlining radical proposals to the global game that could include condensing the Six Nations to five weeks from seven.

“This is a tough competition and people are potentially going to a five-week tournament – I don’t think the Celtic nations could survive that playing every week.

“You need that respite period in the middle to recover. England and France could cope and maybe Ireland has enough numbers, but Scotland and Wales and Italy would struggle.”

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