10:30am Wednesday 12th February 2014
By Andrew Penman
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs is hoping history repeats itself next week as Wales aim to bounce back from defeat against Ireland with victory over the French.
The 29-year-old from Merthyr made his international bow a year ago in Wales’ 30-22 defeat to the Irish.
And 12 months on he was left with a feeling of déjà vu last Saturday as Warren Gatland’s men again came off second best against the men in green.
But, as Wales prepare to welcome France to the Millennium Stadium on February 21, Coombs is convinced that they can respond in similar fashion to last year when they won in Paris on their way to clinching the Six Nations title.
“It was similar to the Irish game last year,” he said of Saturday’s defeat at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
“There aren’t any excuses; we just didn’t play well on the day and Ireland did.
“But we’ve got to stay positive. We’re a very strong outfit and we haven’t lost too many games in the Six Nations over the last few years.
“Last year we started poorly against Ireland and there wasn’t too many changes made and the boys redeemed themselves.
“We need to put right what went wrong. You’re always going to have a bad day, just like in any job, and on Saturday we had a bad day.
“Against France next Friday we can turn that round,” he added.
“Everybody’s hurting at the moment. We let ourselves down at the weekend and we want to put that right.”
With former Dragons hero Luke Charteris likely to be fit to face the French, Coombs is aware that there will be pressure on his place in the team and he’s hoping to get another chance to impress.
“It was lovely being back in the side but I’m just really disappointed by the way the game went,” he said.
“I made a few errors and it was always difficult given the way the game was going so I’ve just got to work hard now this week and see where it gets me.
“It’s important that you get that chance to play again and do that jersey justice.
“Everybody wants that second chance. It’s just a matter of training hard now and throwing everything at France.”
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