The primary match of the Six Nations, the primary match of a World Cup yr and the sense of pleasure is palpable. The Six Nations is the one event in sport that by no means helps you to down. It is at all times stuffed with intrigue, rivalries and intently fought matches and by no means was that higher seen than final yr when of the ten matches not that includes Italy 5 have been settled with just one rating between the 2 sides.
Wales vs Eire will get us beneath method and, as with all Six Nations matches, this conflict will reveal a lot of what we are able to count on this event and the World Cup forward. Wales again beneath the management of Warren Gatland, the person who led them to 3 Grand Slams, are determined for displaying after a horrific 2022. The New Zealander emphasised that the Welsh need to win the Six Nations, and never simply as a construct up for the showpiece in France later this yr.
Eire come into the match and event as World No 1 and eager as an example that they’ve not, as they did 4 years in the past, peaked too early. As if to empathise the tight nature of the Six Nations coach Andy Farrell reminded everybody that the lads in inexperienced haven’t gained in Cardiff since 2013.
Eire should beat their 10-year Principality Stadium duck with out a number of key males. They’re with out prop Tadhg Furlong and this morning key man Jamison Gibson-Park was dominated out – the scrum half reportedly not recovering from a hamstring harm. Conor Murray steps up into the beginning XV.
The hosts begin as marginally beneath canines however with Gatland again on the helm and a rousing dwelling crowd the aspect has been advised to go toe to toe with Eire.
“The cliche is clear, however they (Eire) are a staff on kind, they’re enjoying with confidence,” centre George North stated. “It reveals the boldness they’ve with choice, the gamers they’ve gone with.
“I believe our important factor is now we have to match them toe to toe. For those who permit Eire any momentum or front-foot ball, it’s a lengthy day within the workplace, actually.”
Keep right here for all of the pre-match construct up and motion from one of many cathedrals of world rugby.