- Date: Saturday February 24, 14:15 GMT
- Location: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
- Teams: Ireland vs Wales
Ireland host Wales in Dublin
Ireland take on Wales at the Aviva Stadium as Andy Farrell’s side look to strengthen their grip on the Six Nations title.
Like many of their rivals, this represents something of a transitional period for Ireland. However, after a superb start to the championship against France, and Ireland side which has undergone a few changes since last year’s victorious campaign appear to have bounced back from a disappointing World Cup. A fantastic win against France in the first match was followed up by a convincing victory over Italy.
Wales too are in something of a transitional phase, embarking on a new era under Warren Gatland, with a youthful squad and an untested captain in Dafydd Jenkins. Despite bidding farewell to some seasoned campaigners, Wales are optimistic about their new era, however, they have some work to do before they can be confident of consistently challenging the likes of France and Ireland.
The first match of the campaign saw a poor first half against Scotland, a rousing comeback in the second period and, ultimately, defeat. They then faced England, where despite many positives for the Welsh, they again came away with a narrow loss. They now travel to face Ireland who, so far, appear to be a class above the other sides in the tournament. Therefore, despite all of the positives generated by a young and exciting squad under the guidance of an experienced and successful coach, Wales could be looking at three defeats on the spin to start the tournament
Both teams go into the championship without some experienced campaigners and both are in something of a transitional phase. However, Ireland have a huge amount of quality and appear to have found another winning formula. Wales look hugely promising, however, they are work in progress. Ireland look very much a team for today. Ireland to win.