The teams are up for Friday nights RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at the Principality Stadium. Kick off 20.05, live on BBC/S4C.
There is not a great deal to say about either side. Wales are unchanged from the team that lost to Scotland and Ireland only make one change, from the team that beat France, with Tommy Bowe coming in for the injured Andrew Trimble on the bench to join Ulster team mates Paddy Jackson and Iain Henderson. So, only one Ulster player starting, in Rory Best, and three on the bench. Hmm!
Wales will have something to prove after their second half capitulation in that match against Scotland and Ireland will be wanting to go into the St Patrick’s weekend fixture against England with a championship to play for. Add in the competition for Lions places and I suspect it will be a fairly abrasive game
Looking at the teams I can easily see this match going either way. Wales have a bit more experience in the centre and a bit more abrasion on the wings whereas Ireland’s front five edge it for me. However this match will be won by the team that makes the fewest mistakes and gives away the fewer penalties and the back rows and the halfbacks will be the main players.
Wales have underperformed in these areas and they will need to improve substantially but I think they will get themselves up for this match and Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric, Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar are all capable of causing problems. Ireland have had their big match against France, are they capable of raising their game again?
It’s finely balanced, and hopefully there should be a bit of edge to this game. It should be a cracker.
The FRU Predicts: Looking forward to this one and I suspect that Ireland might just edge this one. Either way it could go down to the last play of the game.
|Leigh Halfpenny||15||Rob Kearney|
|George North||14||Keith Earls|
|Jonathan Davies||13||Garry Ringrose|
|Scott Williams||12||Robbie Henshaw|
|Liam Williams||11||Simon Zebo|
|Dan Biggar||10||Jonathan Sexton|
|Rhys Webb||9||Conor Murray|
|Rob Evans||1||Jack McGrath|
|Ken Owens||2||Rory Best|
|Tomas Francis||3||Tadhg Furlong|
|Jake Ball||4||Donnacha Ryan|
|Alun Wyn Jones||5||Devin Toner|
|Sam Warburton||6||CJ Stander|
|Justin Tipuric||7||Sean O’Brien|
|Ross Moriarty||8||Jamie Heaslip|
|Scott Baldwin||16||Niall Scannell|
|Nicky Smith||17||Cian Healy|
|Samson Lee||18||John Ryan|
|Luke Charteris||19||Iain Henderson|
|Taulupe Faletau||20||Peter O’Mahony|
|Gareth Davies||21||Kieran Marmion|
|Sam Davies||22||Paddy Jackson|
|Jamie Roberts||23||Tommy Bowe|