I only ever wanted to play for Ireland

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There is a world where Tadhg Beirne will play against Ireland on Saturday. instead of playing with them

However, as Munster lock explains, it’s not an idea he’s actually entertaining.

After being released by Lester in 2016, the Kildare man was sent to Llanelli with Team Scarlett. and soon gave his former province just like Munster which was a snack when he helped Wales win the Pro12 title at the Aviva Stadium a year later.

When Munster and the IRFU were called up for the following season, his Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac played one last match to keep the versatile forward.

“I didn’t speak to Warren [Gatland], but I spoke to Wayne [Pivac] before I left the Scarlets,” said Beirne, speaking from Ireland’s team base at Quinta do Lago in Portugal ahead of Saturday. Guinness Six Nations with Wales in Cardiff

“He (Pivac) tried to encourage me to stay. Because he said that the World Cup will be held next year. and I am qualified to participate.”

“But I think I made up my mind before that. I want to wear green for the World Cup, not red.

“I only want to play for Ireland. that is true And I think when it becomes an issue to talk about having the opportunity to play for Ireland. The only thing I want to do is come back and play for Ireland.

Although he did not play for Wales But it was still an important country in his mind. This gave him the opportunity for a career path. He was most recently named to the World Rugby Men’s XV Team of the Year, as well as met his wife Harriet during his time at the Scarlets.

And those two years in Llanelli taught him a lot about the role rugby played in everyday life in Wales.

“I learned that they are really passionate about the Welsh flag and the Wales team. watching children those away They will be very excited to leave. And they are very passionate about playing for their country.

“It’s the same here and in many other countries but I think when you look from the outside in you can see firsthand how much it means to them. They show that sometimes especially when they How much does playing for Wales mean to them?” he added.

While Ireland and Wales enter the Championship in 2023 outside of the contrasting seasons. Most teams this weekend have never won a Six Nations game at Principality Stadium. Ireland beat Wales in Cardiff in pre-World Cup friendlies in 2015 and 2019, but it wasn’t until 2013 that they last won Wales away.

Birn has featured in the last two defeats in Wales, the 2019 defeat marking his first appearance in the competition. And it was a loss that he didn’t want to remember. with Ireland smashing 25-7 in determining the championship

“That was my first experience. (Principality Stadium) and it shocked me in terms of noise level. Just the intensity of the game.”

The latest defeat was a 21-16 defeat in the first weekend of the 2021 Championship, in which Ireland came close to winning. playing most of the game with 14 players following Peter O’Mahony’s early red card.

“There was a period in that game where we just got eliminated and let them come back into the game without us having to… When we get out of our 22 and force something and make a stupid mistake right there.”

“I feel like we’ve learned and we’ve come a long way since that day. I think if you look at that game and you compare it to the way we play now, we’ve come a long way.

“Someone jokingly said in here that ‘If you make a mistake How long will it last?’ And one kid says, ’30, 40 years.’ But during this time, You have to move fast. But that might always be possible. In my opinion because that was one of those games we could have won but we didn’t, so you just have to keep going.

After last year’s series win in New Zealand Followed by wins over South Africa and Australia in November, Andy Farrell’s side became the top team in the world for 2023 and were narrowly favorites over France in their Six Nations title win. first since 2018

And although Ireland don’t always handle the weight of expectations well, Beirne says they have to accept the scrutiny that comes with tag team favourites.

“We are number one in the world. So no matter who we meet We have goals behind us.”

“If we play as the number one team it will be the same We want to scalp them off. It’s quite exciting in my opinion. And I’m looking forward to the challenge when I’m on the pitch to be able to To move forward with the best and hope to maintain the number one position.

“We came here to win. That’s what we want to do.

“Are you talking about an experiment? I don’t know if I’ll be here next year in the Six Nations, who knows, I want to be involved in every game I can be. And obviously I want to win this game. I’ve never won a championship before. That’s every player’s idea. And I think it’s pretty obvious. That was the coach’s idea as well. that they want to win titles.”

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