Defence is only thing on Edwards's agenda
“Our attack in the second-half against the All Blacks was absolutely fantastic, and against Australia we conceded 14 points, which is the lowest we have conceded against them by a considerable margin. But it took us two-and-a-half games to get to that level. We can’t afford to do that this time. We have to hit the ground running.
“We always have very competitive games against Ireland with a lot of close scorelines. The results have gone our way in the last few games, but we know we are against a formidable opponent.
“We understand the standard of opponent we are going to come up against on Saturday, and we have to try to overcome it, but it can’t take us two-and-a-half games to get going like it did in the autumn.”
Howley is due to name his starting line-up on Thursday, with Dan Biggar a firm favourite to replace injured outhalf Rhys Priestland, while fitness permitting, the secondrow partnership is pointing towards Ospreys pair Ryan Jones and Ian Evans.
Jones is recovering from a dislocated thumb suffered a fortnight ago, while Evans has not played since the autumn because of knee trouble.
Should either, or both, be ruled out of contention to face Ireland, then a selection door would probably open for uncapped locks like James King, Andrew Coombs and Harlequins’ Olly Kohn.
Bristol-born Kohn, 31, only joined up with the squad yesterday - he qualifies for Wales through his late grandfather, who hailed from the Rhymney Valley – but a role against Ireland cannot be discounted.
“Olly plays for the team (Quins) who are number one seeds in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals, so he is obviously operating at quite a high level,” Edwards said.
“He is a very, very powerful scrummaging, genuine tighthead secondrow, and there are not that many of them about nowadays. We felt we needed beefing up in that area. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, Olly will potentially get his chance.
“He brings a physical presence. His scrummaging power would be at the forefront of his game, but he has other parts, too.
“That was his first training session today, so clearly lineout calls are all new to him, but he plays for the number one-seeded team in the Heineken Cup and he’s a pretty smart operator.”