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Jamie Roberts says Rob Howley has the backing of the Wales players

Last Updated: 05/02/13 12:26pm

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Rob Howley: Yet to win as interim head coach

Rob Howley: Yet to win as interim head coach

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Wales centre Jamie Roberts has given his backing to under pressure interim head coach Rob Howley.

Wales have lost eight matches in a row - five of which have been under the guidance of Howley in the absence of head coach Warren Gatland, who is preparing for the Lions' tour to Australia this summer.

And their defeat to Ireland in the opening Six Nations clash has put more pressure Howley ahead of the defending champions' trip to France this weekend.

But Roberts - who concedes Wales' display in the first half of their 30-22 defeat to Ireland was one of the worst he has been involved in - insists the players are right behind their coach.

"We are 100 per cent behind Rob Howley, without a doubt," Roberts told Wales Online. "In comparisons with the standards we have set as a team, that first half-hour was very disappointing and it cost us the game. It is one of the worst Wales performances I have ever been involved in.

Stay tight,/h4>

"Pundits are always going to say negative things but the important thing is we stay tight as a group. Saturday night hurt. I could see it on the faces of all the boys.

"The fact is, if we defended better in the first 20 minutes we would have won the match. But we were 20 points down before we touched the ball.

"It is hugely frustrating because we all know the structure is there for us to win rugby games but we made the wrong decisions on the ball against Ireland.

"We all know that where there are chances to score tries there are chances to win games and we know we can cause France problems on Saturday."

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