Ireland will welcome defending champions and 2019 Six Nations Grand Slam winners Wales to the Aviva Stadium on 8th of February 2020 during the second round of the 2020 Six Nations tournament as from 2:15 pm (GMT). This game will be officiated by French referee Romain Poite and it will be live on ITV and S4C. Similarly, the game will be broadcast live on FR2, Virgin Media, DMAX, and NBC.
Andy Farell’s Irish troops will be at home for the second straight Six Nations round as they look to avenge their 2019 defeat to Wales. Farell who will be in the dugout as head coach for the second time ever in his career, both club and international, will be looking for a statement win against the defending champions which will be so welcome in his resume building.
Wayne Pivac will also look to settle smoothly into his predecessor’s huge boots, and what better way to do that than win in Dublin? Having transformed the Scarlets in a European rugby powerhouse, pressure will be on Pivac to find his mojo sooner than later as Welsh rugby looms over the exit of Warren Gatland. It will obviously be refreshing for Pivac to know that he has a young, budding, and very talented pool of players with “experience” to choose from.
Wales overan Ireland 25-7 in the final game of the 2019 Six Nations enroute to a Grand Slam win under Warren Gatland. Hadleigh Parkes put Wales ahead in the 2nd minute and Anscombe punished a sloppy Ireland by kicking three penalties for a 16-0 lead at the interval. Ireland kept on giving away penalties in the second half as they seemed to struggle against the weather and Anscombe didn’t disappoint from the set pieces as he converted to give Wales a 25-0 lead. Jordan Larmour crossed the try line late into stoppage time to grab a consolation for Ireland.
Ireland however beat Wales twice in the 2019 Rugby warm-up matches. They first won 17-22 at the Principality in Cardiff before wrapping up the double-header with a 19-10 win at home and earning the number 1 spot in World rankings as a result.
One of the players to watch in this game will be Ireland captain and Leinster fly-half Jonathan Sexton who will bring a lot of experience to the squad. Likewise, John Cooney will be in the green jersey again having missed the 2019 Rugby World Cup and will be eager to show why it was a mistake not putting him on the plane to Japan.
Wales on the other hand will be boosted by the services of 24-year-old center Nick Tompkins. The Saracens’ centre has emerged as new head coach Wayne Pivac’s most admired player and the Kiwi might give the Wrexham born flying center a start against Ireland. Other key players include Alun Wyn Jones and Dan Biggar.
Head to Head
Ireland and Wales have taken part in 129 rugby test matches in history since 1882. Wales lead with 69 win while Ireland has won 53 of those encounters. All the other seven matches ended in a tie. While playing in Ireland, the hosts have won 30 out of 63 matches with Wales winning 28 matches. The other 5 matches all ended in a draw.
Wales will be buoyed by the feeling that they can register a win in Dublin considering the current form of Ireland. However, Ireland have won three in a row against Wales when playing at home and will be eager to steady their ship as soon as possible.
Prediction: Ireland 27-20 Wales