Payne expects tough test in Cardiff

Payne expects tough test in Cardiff

IRELAND centre Jared Payne is expecting a tough test in the upcoming March 14 RBS Six Nations clash against Wales in Cardiff.

Payne, who has forged a strong partnership with the exciting Robbie Henshaw, is relishing the prospect of facing Wales’ dynamic duo Jamie Roberts and Jonathan Davies.

“Jamie (Roberts) is obviously a very big ball carrier isn’t he? He’s pretty direct and Jonathan Davies is a class player,” Payne said.

“He’s got all the skills, he’s a very good attacker and a good defender.  He’s got a handy left foot kicking as well. We’re going to have to prepare for everything. They’re pretty direct at 12 and 13 but with subtle skills as well.”

The 29 year old also laughed off criticism of Ireland’s kicking style.  "Look, it's different conditions and there are a whole lot of different factors, aren't there?

"The fact is that defences have been getting a lot better and if there is a weakness in the opposition's aerial game, you go to it, don't you? And if it's working, there's no point in changing it.

"So people can say what they want, we're happy enough with what we're doing and we'll keep plugging away."

Payne also praised coach Joe Schmidt.  "He will pull you up if you have done something wrong, but if you have done something well he will congratulate you. He strikes up a good balance."