Ruddock brushes off Best criticism

Wales coach Mike Ruddock has responded to criticism of his players' British & Irish Lions prospects - by ignoring it. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

Wales coach Mike Ruddock has responded to criticism of his players’ British & Irish Lions prospects – by ignoring it.

Former England boss and Lions assistant coach Dick Best hit out in a London newspaper interview this week, claiming Wales’ game plan was "built on sand," and that some players would be "out of their depth" if there was a large Welsh Lions contingent in the party which will tour New Zealand this summer.

Best also said he would pick England veteran Neil Back in his Lions Test team "any day of the week" above Wales flanker Martyn Williams, arguably the outstanding performer in this season’s Six Nations Championship.

But, while Best’s comments have caused a stir in the Welsh media and among Grand Slam-hungry Welsh fans, Ruddock has hardly batted an eyelid.

"Before the (Six Nations) tournament started, we had the pundits’ views on the Lions team up on the noticeboard at our training base," he said.

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"There were no Welsh players in that team, so that was enough.

"It is (Lions coach) Clive Woodward’s opinion that matters, and the Lions comes after the Ireland game this weekend. All we are focussing on is Ireland – whatever is said about the Lions will have to wait until after.

"It is about putting all the hype and the media talk to one side. It’s about doing what we have done all the way through, which is a huge focus on our preparation, game-plan and what we are going to try to do to get a result against Ireland."

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