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MENAFN - Kora - 05/02/2014
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(MENAFN - Kora) Warburton is set for his first start for Wales since November with the 25-year-old flanker having come off the bench in his team's 23-15 win over Italy in the Six Nations last week, while prop Gethin Jenkins and second-rower Andrew Coombs have also been promoted

Luke Charteris (hamstring) will miss Saturday's clash in Dublin altogether, while Justin Tipuric and Paul James have dropped to the bench

But despite Charteris' injury and Jonathan Davies' struggles with a pectoral muscle strain, Gatland is happy with the state of his squad

"Gethin has trained well, and Sam comes back into the side as well and we know it's going to be pretty physical up front," Gatland said on Tuesday

"In terms of people in the world stealing and poaching ball and winning penalties, Sam is definitely one of the best in world rugby

"We will be looking forward to competing quite hard at the breakdown

"It is a shame for Luke, and (centre) Jonathan (Davies) is still not quite right. He will probably train with us this week and maybe have another game for the Scarlets next week

"Other than that, we are in a pretty healthy state.

Wales have not lost an away game in the Six Nations since 2011 and have overcome Ireland in three of their past four meetings

Ireland started this year's tournament with a 28-6 victory over Scotland but Gatland has backed his team to have the confidence and belief to overcome their hosts on Saturday

"By all accounts, they (Ireland) have spent the last two weeks preparing for this game on Saturday," Gatland said

"We are aware of that, and they are two teams that won their opening game going head to head. It is a massive game for both teams

"We haven't lost an away match in the Six Nations since 2011, and we have to have the belief and confidence that we can do it again this weekend

"We feel in most tournaments that we get stronger as it goes on, and that will need to be the case this weekend.



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