2020 Six Nations Championship – Ireland vs Wales Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

When is Ireland vs Wales taking place? Saturday 8th February, 14:15

Where is Ireland vs Wales taking place? Aviva Stadium

What is the expected weather for Ireland vs Wales? 8c with a chance of showers

What channel is Ireland vs Wales on? ITV 1

Where can I stream Ireland vs Wales? Ireland vs Wales can be streamed via ITV Player

Where can I get tickets for Ireland vs Wales? Fans seeking tickets should visit the ticket section of the official rugby union website for each nation

What was the outcome in the last meeting? Ireland 19-10 Wales

THE TEAM NEWS

IRELAND

  • Ireland had to show some defensive resilience to hold on in their Six Nations opener as Scotland pushed them all the way and despite their try line coming under threat right up until the hooter, the Irish were able to come out on top.
  • It was far from a vintage performance by Ireland but they will be pleased to have earned the victory in Andy Farrell’s first game in charge and they know they have plenty of improvement in them although their defensive effort will have been very pleasing to the new coach.
  • Caelen Doris has failed to overcome the head knock he suffered last week and will miss out along with Garry Ringrose who could be set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines with a hand injury so Peter O'Mahony and Robbie Henshaw are promoted to the starting XV whilst Keith Earls and Max Deegan are the new faces on the bench.

WALES

  • Wales laid down a marker for the rest of the competition as they overpowered Italy in the first game of their Six Nations defence and last year’s Grand Slam winners will be delighted with the start they made after nilling the Italians.
  • After the 42-0 victory in which Josh Adams bagged a hat-trick, Wales will know much tougher challenges lie in wait starting with this trip to Ireland which will be one of their most difficult tasks of this year’s tournament.
  • Wales have a good dilemma ahead of this game with scrum-half Gareth Davies and centre Gareth Davies both fit enough to come into contention but they will have to settle for a place on the bench with Wayne Pivac making just one change to his starting XV as Nick Tompkins earns a first start at outside centre after a positive debut last week which means George North reverts to the wing and Johnny McNicholl drops to the bench.

KEY STATS

  • Ireland have been winning at HT in 16 of their last 17 home games in the Six Nations.
  • Ireland have lost one of their last 17 Six Nations home games.
  • Ireland have won by a margin of at least 10 points in six of their last nine home matches against Wales in the Six Nations.
  • There has been a total of at least 42 points scored in six of Wales’ last eight matches.
  • Wales have won each of their last eight Six Nations matches.
  • Wales have been winning at HT without conceding a point in each of their last two Six Nations matches.
  • Wales have conceded less than 20 points in each of their last eight Six Nations matches.

THE PREDICTION

Ireland will need to be much better if they are to overcome Wales in this tasty Six Nations tussle in Dublin. The hosts edged Scotland last week thanks to their defensive line holding firm at the end of the game when the Scots were pushing for the score that could have levelled matters. Wales made light work of Italy and although they cannot afford to be complacent after that victory ahead of a very difficult trip to Ireland, the Welsh should come out on top with the benefit of a four-point start on the handicap.

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