Mike Ruddock has praised his unsung Wales pack for their contribution towards the team's unbeaten RBS 6 Nations Championship campaign.
While the glitterati - gifted backs like Gavin Henson and Shane Williams - have taken centre stage during victories over England, Italy and France, coach Ruddock also believes the forwards deserve considerable credit.
"We have never gone on record as saying we are world beaters up front yet. What we have said is that we are starting to compete with the bigger packs,'' claimed Ruddock.
"Everyone thought that England might roll us over, and they sort of did to a certain extent at Twickenham last year; Italy, well there was talk of them rolling us over and also the French pack, and so it has gone on.
"Against France last season, we won 10 out of 27 set-pieces, so we lost 17 of our own put-ins. This season, in France, we won 23 out of 30.
"There has been a definite improvement, and at times this season we have pushed France, New Zealand and South Africa off the ball,'' he added.
"There is a structure to our game. It might look a bit off the cuff at times, and certainly we do promote things like that, but there is also a lot of structure to allow us to try to open up the opposition defence."
Peter O'Mahony was named man of the match against England last month
21 April 2017, 7:22pm
Peter O'Mahony's performance in the RBS 6 Nations finale for Ireland against England was crucial to his selection for the British & Irish Lions on Wednesday, Ireland and Lions defence coach Andy Farrell has revealed.