Beard, 27, will partner his Ospreys teammate Alun Wyn Jones in the Wales engine room when Wales face the number one ranked side in the world at the Principality Stadium.
The 6ft 6ins and 18st 4lbs second row made his Wales debut against Samoa back in 2017 and became a permanent fixture under Gatland and toured with the British and Irish Lions in 2021.
“It has been business as usual with Gats,” said Beard. “He does a lot with emotions and he is great in getting players up for a Test week and getting us to focus and driving our standards.
“There are a lot of players on edge because they want to raise the bar and impress him which is great for us as a squad.”
Beard is one of six Ospreys selected in the Wales pack and he expects a physical battle against and Ireland side which won a Test series against the All Blacks in New Zealand in the summer.
“Ireland are a world class side and you don’t become number one side in the world by chance,” said Beard.
“They have put in a lot of good performances over the last 12-24 months and that status is fully deserved.
“They are quality side and we have to get stuck into them early doors and we know it’s going to be a physical battle and they run lot through nine and ten who are key generals for them.
“We have to stand up physically and meet them on the gainline and get them going backwards. The set-piece is going to be a massive part of the game and all the fundamentals have to be right.”
Beard admits with all four Welsh regions – the Scarlets, the Ospreys, Cardiff and the Dragons – having done in their respective European competitions that the players are heading into the Six Nations with confidence.
“It has been a big help that the regions have been going well,” said Beard. “Before the Autumn, we weren’t going to well and coming into this, if look at the Ospreys, we have won six out of the last seven games.
“We have had some big victories in Europe, the Scarlets, Cardiff and Dragons have had some really good wins in Europe too.”