Six Nations: Wales v Ireland Preview


Our scribe gives his opinion on Friday night’s Six Nations Round 4 clash between Wales and Ireland. 

Traditionalists will be doing their heads over the scheduling of this one as it will be the first ever time that a Six Nations game is played on a Friday evening. The kick off time is also a bit of a blow for South African rugby fans who will be in for a late night should they wish to watch this one.

It may well be worth pushing your retirement to bed back a few hours, though, as this game is likely to be a cracker with Ireland needing a victory to have any chance of claiming this year’s Six Nations crown.

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To Win (80 Mins)
Wales 14/10 | Draw 18/1 | Ireland 6/10

Wales (+) | Ireland (-)
*Handicap to be added upon release

Wales v Ireland | Friday 10 March | Principality Stadium | 22:05

The Dragons have blown hot and cold during this campaign, with a spirited defeat to England being followed up with a shocking second half display against Scotland that saw their hopes of Six Nations glory fade faster than Donald Trump’s credibility.

As I stated above, the Welsh are now also-rans in the competition. They may ultimately decide the fate of the title, however, as an Irish loss this Friday and an English victory on Saturday would virtually assure England back-to-back titles.

They may be also-rans, but we should be in for a big performance from the Welsh this weekend, who will be keen to finish this ill-fated campaign with consecutive victories. They will have most of their senior statesmen available for this one with returning players Luke Charteris and Taulupe Faletau set for starts.

Joe Schmidt will probably be advocating these Friday night games from now on in, as the early kick off date could allow his side to pile the pressure on England, who face Scotland exactly 18 hours after the Wales versus Ireland game comes to a conclusion. A win for the Irish would see them move a point ahead of the English, who they will meet in the final round of this year’s tournament.

The Irish actually have a pretty healthy record out in Cardiff winning two of the last three games played at the Principality Stadium. Schmidt’s contingent have also managed to win two of the last four Six Nations clashes between the sides, with last year’s match ending in a 16-16 draw.

The Irish are likely to continue with the Henshaw/Ringrose centre pairing as Jared Payne, who made his comeback for Ulster last week, suffered a kidney injury recurrence. There is some good news for Schmidt however, with full-back Rod Kearney recovering from a hip injury.

Verdict: Ireland 6/10
The men from the ‘Emerald Isle’ have it all to play for this weekend. They will be desperate to get the win which would see them take the title fight right down to the wire. My money is on that desperation seeing them over the line.

Written by Darry Worthington for!

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