Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton admits that the reigning Six Nations holders are “unbelievably frustrated” by their form in this year’s championship.
After losing to England 32-20 in round one Ireland have since beaten Scotland 22-13 and last weekend were 26-16 victors over Italy in Rome.
However, despite the win in Italy the Irish Times reports that television pictures showed how Sexton was “fuming” as he left the Stadio Olimpico pitch on Sunday.
In an interview with Virgin Media One, the 33-year-old said: “Unbelievably frustrated – how can you not be when you’re doing as good a preparation as you did last year, you’re training as well as you did last year. You’re doing everything right and things aren’t just clicking.
“No one cares more than us, that’s the bottom line. I’m sorry if I let my frustrations boil over at times but that’s part of me and I care a lot about the team and wanting to do well.
“You don’t always get it right, but that’s part of the job. When you care about it, you can let it boil over.
“There have been moments where I could have been better, but again you’re so interdependent on the team being good and I said that all along last year.”
Currently third in the Six Nations table, Ireland will next face France in Dublin on Sunday 10 March. They finish their 2019 campaign with a trip to Wales on Saturday 16 March.
Wales lock Hill to miss final games
Six Nations leaders Wales have been hit by the news that lock Cory Hill has been ruled out of the final two games.
Hill injured his ankle when scoring a try in the 21-13 victory against England on Saturday in Cardiff.
Despite the blow of losing Hill for the final fixtures, Wales skills coach Neil Jenkins says his absence will give the opportunity for other players to shine.
Speaking to the BBC, Jenkins said: “He’s certainly going to be a loss, but any loss is someone else’s opportunity. Cory was outstanding on Saturday, obviously with his try as well and he’s a fantastic player for us.”
Following the win against England in Cardiff, their record 12th successive Test victory, Wales are now leading the Six Nations standings by two points.
They are on course for a grand slam should they win their final games against Scotland and Ireland.
Wales travel to Scotland on Saturday 9 March and in their last game host Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday 16 March.
Six Nations results, fixtures and TV guide
Round one results
- France 19 Wales 24
- Scotland 33 Italy 20
- Ireland 20 England 32
Round two results
- Scotland 13 Ireland 22
- Italy 15 Wales 26
- England 44 France 8
Round three results
- France 27 Scotland 10
- Wales 21 England 13
- Italy 16 Ireland 26
Round four fixtures
- Saturday 9 March: Scotland vs. Wales (2.15pm, live on BBC and S4C); England vs. Italy (3pm, live on ITV)
- Sunday 10 March: Ireland vs. France (4.45pm, live on ITV)
Round five fixtures
- Saturday 16 March: Italy vs. France (12.30pm, live on ITV); Wales vs. Ireland (2.45pm, live on BBC and S4C)
- Sunday 17 March: England vs. Scotland (5pm, live on BBC)