Wales 23-15 Italy
Priestland wary of O'Driscoll factor
ESPN Staff
February 2, 2014
Priestland started at 10 for Wales against Italy © Getty Images

Rhys Priestland has warned Wales to be wary of a Brian O'Driscoll backlash ahead of next week's trip to Dublin to face Ireland in the Six Nations.

Following Saturday's victory over Italy, Wales head coach Warren Gatland appeared frustrated when asked about O'Driscoll, who he famously dropped for the final British & Irish Lions test last summer. But Priestland's comments seem to directly contradict Gatland, and have stoked the flames ahead of the Dublin clash on Saturday 8.

Wales are defending champions and going for a record third straight title, but were run close by Italy in Saturday's opening encounter. Ireland defeated Wales at the Millennium Stadium in last year's competition, and with the added O'Driscoll factor, Priestland believes the Irish will be the toughest challenge for the reigning champions once again in 2014.

"It will be difficult going to Ireland. Everyone will be out for revenge after what happened to Brian O'Driscoll," Priestland said.

"I think mountains will be made out of molehills there. It's going to be difficult post-Lions, everyone will have a point to prove after how well the Welsh boys did in Australia.

"I think it will be the toughest one to win."

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