Published: Sat, March 16, 2019
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Munster player to make Six Nations debut for Ireland against Wales

Munster player to make Six Nations debut for Ireland against Wales

The Six Nations builds up to its crescendo this weekend and all the indications are that it will be an intriguing one.

Saturday's final round of the Six Nations sees Wales looking to complete their third Grand Slam of the Gatland era with victory over Ireland in Cardiff in what will be the New Zealander's final Championship match in charge before he stands down following this year's World Cup in Japan.

England will be buoyed by getting revenge for their defeat against Scotland a year ago, and if Ireland keep up their end of the bargain the Championship Trophy could still be coming to Twickenham.

Eddie Jones has stirred the pot by saying he thinks Wales could be exhausted because they've made the most tackles, while Ireland's big-game players are peaking.

"If it was me, I'd be concentrating on playing Scotland. We'll be in the game (against France)", he said.

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I think Ireland will win and open up the tournament for England to claim in the later kick off.

But Gatland added: "It is not about us, it is about the players for this weekend".

"For a number of us as coaches this is our last Six Nations game and the fact that it is in Cardiff is extra special".

"We've named an unchanged squad and rewarded the players for the last couple of outings and the last couple of victories". It was quite evident in the last game that their relationship was stronger than it has been for a while.

"I can guarantee you on Saturday, if we do win, there will be plenty of emotion afterwards".

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The England coach suggested Wales are running out of steam as they prepare to face an in-form Ireland side with "a lot to prove".

"He has matured gracefully", Gatland said.

World Rugby said Thursday the new annual tournament, which from 2022 would see the winners of the Six Nations playing the top team from an expanded, six-team southern hemisphere Rugby Championship in a final, could earn the sport 5 billion pound ($6.6 billion) in 12 years.

"It's tough. You can see, they (Wales) are getting exhausted".

"He has been very important to us, he is a player who does not pick up many injuries and he has been a constant".

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