Shaun Edwards says Wales should be judged on Six Nations form
SHAUN Edwards believes Wales should be judged on their Six Nations form - rather than their autumn displays - as the reigning champions prepare for "two huge weeks".
Wales visit Scotland on Saturday with a slim hope of retaining their Six Nations crown, but England's vastly superior points difference makes them overwhelming favourites to emerge with the championship.
To have even the faintest chance is an improvement, however, after Wales had started their tournament with a 30-22 home defeat to Ireland — their eighth loss in succession.
That sequence of results had seen Wales tumble out of the top ten in the IRB world rankings for a period, but Edwards reckons the misery of an autumn whitewash will be merely a distant memory if they can win at Murrayfield this weekend.
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"These lads have been absolutely fantastic over the last few years," said Wales's defence coach.
"Of the games I've been involved in the Six Nations, and I honestly believe we are truly judged on the Six Nations, we've only lost one game in the last 11.
"If we can make that one in 13, that has got to be a pretty impressive record."
Wales have lost two of their last 12 matches in the Six Nations, but Edwards was suspended for their defeat to France in 2011 — the earlier of those two reverses.
Wales also suffered a 3-0 series defeat to Australia last summer, but Edwards insists it is the Six Nations which truly count.
"I just think the whole of Wales comes alive in the Six Nations," he added,
"That's not to say we don't want to go to Australia and win, but I do think the whole of Wales comes alive, Six Nations time.
"We started off slowly against Ireland, but the second-half of that game and the last two games, particularly from my department (defence), have been as good as I could expect from a rugby team.
"If we can continue in that form over the next two games, we are in with a chance.
"It's all systems go for a huge two weeks for us."