THERE would have been calls for Pivac's head had Wales not managed to secure victory against 14-man Ireland in their Six Nations opener on Sunday.

That is according to David ‘Flats’ Flatman, former England, Saracens and Bath prop.

Munster forward O’Mahony was sent off following a reckless shoulder-led hit to Wales prop Tomas Francis’ head, but Ireland still led until Louis Rees-Zammit struck.

The 20-year-old Gloucester wing pounced midway through the second half, destroying Irish hopes of a famous triumph over adversity.

The Wales debutant's impact was such that Flatman is now calling for him to make the cut for the foreseeable future.

“After that finish, Louis Rees-Zammit needs to be picked for the next 20 games straight," he said.

"Absolute class."

However, he said that the side with the man advantage made hard work of the victory.

“Wales just about managed to hang on against 14 men," he said.

"If they hadn’t, the call for heads to roll across the Severn Bridge would have been heard from Bath."

Ireland also lost lock James Ryan to a failed head injury assessment, and skipper Johnny Sexton’s afternoon ended 11 minutes from time when Wales flanker Justin Tipuric’s knee accidentally caught him in the head.

“While every win feels good, the elation for this Wales team will have been significantly diluted by the fact that they were outplayed by a depleted team for most of the match and ought to be delivering far more," said Flatman.

George North’s 42nd try for his country, three Leigh Halfpenny penalties and a conversion ultimately broke Ireland, despite a late Burns penalty.

It meant that Wales boss Wayne Pivac could celebrate just a fourth victory from 11 Tests since he succeeded Warren Gatland.

“The few positive take-aways are that George North needs to stay at 13," said Flatman.

"He’s such a weapon that the massively increased number of ball-in-hand involvements at centre makes his physical threat so much more potent."

Halfpenny added a third penalty with 15 minutes left, and Wales had finally found a way to see themselves home ahead of next Saturday’s Murrayfield clash against Scotland, despite Ireland’s late rally.

Ireland, though, must regroup quickly – mentally and physically – and dust themselves down for a Dublin showdown against resurgent France in just seven days’ time.

“Ireland’s big test comes next weekend. France haven’t looked as good as this in generations, ever since Blanco, Sella and Jean-Pierre Rives were in full swing," said Flatman.

“The big question will be whether Ireland can physically match the French in terms of repeated brutal collisions and pace.

"Most of all, though, they’ll need Antoine Dupont to be off the pace as when he’s on it, France win.

"It really is that simple.”