Alun Wyn Jones admits the upcoming Test with Italy will be a big game for Wales after defensive shortcomings contributed to the defeat in Ireland last weekend.
Jones and co. conceded three tries, albeit with two of those scores coming with Lee Byrne in sin bin, but he says defence is an area that must be focused on in final match of a disappointing campaign for Warren Gatland and his players.
Official match statistics show Wales missed six tackles in the 80 minutes. That may not sound like much but the 91 per cent success rate that translates to, is unsatisfactory for the demanding second row.
"I am not sure what is going wrong in the defence," he said. "It is not the standard that we require, and it is very disappointing. It is not through want of trying - nobody goes out there on purpose to miss tackles."
He continued: "We have the systems in place, but they are not working because of missed tackles. We are missing one-on-one tackles at the moment. We had a lot of possession and territory, and that is what makes it all the more frustrating. We have under-performed in this championship. There is no doubt about that with the players we have got. Italy is a big game for us now - we have to pull our fingers out and lick our wounds."
And Shane Williams says there will be no let-up in Wales' search for a solution to shore up their leaking defence.
Ireland's three-try blast at Croke Park means Wales have conceded 10 touchdowns in this season's Six Nations Championship - eight more than when they were crowned 2008 Grand Slam champions.
"Teams are causing us problems, although we are working hard at finding a fix," said the Wales wing.
"Our defence was bad, we made mistakes in key areas and left a few holes which Ireland utilised. Our lack of concentration at times cost us.
"We did not get in the right areas often enough, and you often get punished at international level when you make a mistake."
Italian coach Nick Mallet also blasted his team's defensive performance as he watched France claim a 46-20 victory on Sunday.
He said: "It was the worst match we played for a year. We are pretty disappointed and our defence was very poor," he said. A lot of players played their worst games today and when you do that against France they will score a lot of tries. They were made to look a lot better by our missed tackles but some of our players were well off their best."
Wales 7s Manager Steff Thomas believes Luke Treharne has all the attriubutes to be a top class captain. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie hears his reasons why as the squad prepare for the opening two legs of the new World Series in Dubai and South Africa.
The British & Irish Cup kicks off this weekend with the four Regional Premiership Select XVs flying the flag for Wales. Welsh
Sat 14 Nov: Blues Premiership Select v Nottingham (2.30) & Connacht Eagles v Dragons (2.30)
Sun 15 Nov: Yorkshire Carnegie v Ospreys Premiership Select (1.30) & Scarlets v Bedford Blues (3.00)
The Welsh Rugby Union is forming a new Youth Board with a brief to help keep more young people involved in the game during their late teenage years and beyond. The first task of the fifteen strong Board will be to analyse and consider the issues which lead to a number of youngsters drifting away from the sport between the ages of 16 and 21. To apply visit www.wru.wales/youthboard
The Foster's Challenge Cup will involve the 12 Principality Premiership sides and will run during European and British & Irish Cup weeks, providing vital fixtures for the participating clubs and an opportunity for upcoming players to step up to semi-professional rugby and make a claim for starting places within the Premiership squads.
Eighty schools and colleges in Wales now have a full time rugby officer as part of the WRU's school club hub scheme. All of the school club hub officers recently gathered at the National Centre of Excellence for various workshops.
With Liam Williams forced out of the World Cup through injury, lock Luke Charteris and Skills Coach Neil Jenkins say they have to put yesterday's defeat behind them as Wales now look ahead to another physical encounter against South Africa in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup.
WRU Consultant Head of Physical Performance Paul Stridgeon praises the Physical Performance department for their work and dedication as he addresses the media ahead of Wales' Pool A clash against Australia
Twelve young people have been selected to follow a one year WRU Coach Core apprenticeship programme. Coach Core was set up by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry as part of the Olympics legacy in 2012 and the Duke of Cambridge was on hand to meet the apprentices on their first day in the job. The programme has been funded by the Hunter Foundation.