Ireland v Wales LIVE: Result and reaction from Six Nations

Grand slam-chasing Ireland rugby made it three bonus-point Six Nations wins from three against Wales rugby at the Aviva Stadium, racking up their 18th successive home triumph with a 31-7 victory.

The hosts dominated the first half and led by 17-0 at the break thanks to tries from Dan Sheehan and James Lowe. A penalty try for Wales and yellow card for Ireland’s Tadhg Beirne just after half-time threatened to make things interesting.

Ireland mostly retained control with 14 men, though a ragged second half remained competitive until Ciaran Frawley marked his first Six Nations start with a debut try on 67 minutes and Beirne added the bonus-point try at the death as Wales sank to their 10th defeat in their last 11 Six Nations game.

Ireland travel to England in two weeks before hoping to play for their second successive grand slam at home to Scotland on 16 March. Wales have back-to-back home games against France and Italy, with the latter now a potential wooden spoon decider.

Relive all the action from Dublin below:

Six Nations - Ireland vs Wales LIVE

  • Ireland beat Wales 31-7 in the Six Nations to move a step closer to a grand slam

  • REPORT: Stubborn Wales can’t stop Ireland’s grand slam march

  • FULL-TIME! Ireland 31-7 Wales

  • 80+2’ - TRY! Tadhg Beirne crashes over for the bonus-point score (IRE 31-7 WAL)

  • 68’ - TRY! Ciaran Frawley slices through for Ireland’s third try (IRE 24-7 WAL)

  • 59’ - NO TRY! Bundee Aki barrels over but sees try ruled out for a forward pass in the build-up (IRE17-7 WAL)

  • 43’ - TRY! Tadhg Beirne pinged for changing his bind and Wales awarded penalty try (IRE 17-7 WAL)

  • 32’ - TRY! James Lowe finishes patient team move in the corner (IRE 17-0 WAL)

  • 21’ - TRY! Dan Sheehan benefits from muscular maul (IRE 10-0 WAL)

Stubborn Wales can’t stop Ireland’s grand slam march

17:00 , Luke Baker

Ireland kept their quest for successive Six Nations grand slam titles on track by brushing aside spirited Wales with a dominant 31-7 victory in Dublin.

Andy Farrell’s men backed up crushing wins over France and Italy with a third consecutive bonus-point triumph to keep themselves in pole position for further championship glory.

First-half tries from Dan Sheehan and James Lowe paved the way for the reigning champions to equal England’s tournament record of 11 wins in a row.

Wales avoided embarrassment at the Aviva Stadium and briefly threatened an improbable fightback thanks to a second-half spell which brought a penalty try and a yellow card for Tadhg Beirne.

But a first Test try for stand-in Ireland full-back Ciaran Frawley broke their resolve before Beirne atoned for his earlier error by securing the bonus point at the death on an afternoon when flawless fly-half Jack Crowley kicked 11 points.

Stubborn Wales can’t stop Ireland’s grand slam march

On to the Calcutta Cup...

16:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Right, we’ll have plenty more reaction from Ireland’s victory later today and over the rest of the weekend, but more Six Nations action is almost upon us. It’s a pivotal fixture for Scotland, England and the championship as a whole at Murrayfield - and Calcutta Cup kick off is not far away at all...

Scotland v England LIVE: Latest build-up and updates from Six Nations

Ireland keep grand slam hopes alive with win over battling Wales

16:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And that’s now 18 in a row at home for Ireland - they really have turned the Aviva Stadiu minto something of a fortress. There was no real panic today, even in the periods where Wales had real momentum.

Ireland keep grand slam hopes alive with win over battling Wales

16:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Frawley then dashes up into the stands for a photo with his family after a first Six Nations start. A lovely moment for the versatile young back, who had a very solid outing. We’ll see if Hugo Keenan is fit for Ireland’s trip to Twickenham in a fortnight but Frawley has shown that he is a viable option in his Leinster teammate’s absence.

Try scorer Ciaran Frawley speaks to ITV

16:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“It was a bit clunky in the first half,” the Ireland full-back says. “To bounce back through all the adversity thrown at us and get a bonus point was good.

“I was delighted to get over in the second half. The space just opened up for me, it was lovely. We had Bundee’s try disallowed so it was great to get over because it gave us a bit of momentum. The players here are unbelievable, they know how to win. We’ve been through all the scenarios and we just stick to our systems. Well done to the boys.”

FT: Ireland 31-7 Wales

16:12 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Warren Gatland will be pleased with the fight his young side again showed after a first half where they didn’t get into the game. You do wonder, though, if Wales could have built into the game with a couple of kickable penalties that they turned down - at 17-7, six more points would have had them right in it.

FT: Ireland 31-7 Wales

16:10 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland march on towards another grand slam, but boy did they have work for that win against a gutsy travelling Welsh side. There was plenty of huff and puff from the hosts, but their accuracy was lacking at times, and a more mature, clinical visiting squad might have made more of the opportunities that Ireland presented.

But ultimately it is five more points to the competition tally for Andy Farrell’s defending champions - and a 24-point final margin is far from insignificant, even if they weren’t at their best.


16:08 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

TRY! IRELAND 29-7 Wales (Tadhg Beirne try, 82 minutes)

16:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland have that bonus point!

Ireland 24-7 Wales, 80 minutes

16:06 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Into the red goes the clock as Mackenzie Martin lays a stiff shot on an Irish forward. But still the hosts play, working hands at the line to try and stress the Welsh defence. Jack Crowley nearly slithers free, and Tadhg Beirne arrives with intent...

Ireland 24-7 Wales, 78 minutes

16:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Heavens, that is some collision between Stuart McCloskey and Mason Grady! The enormous Cardiff wing-cum-centre comes rampaging into the block of granite that is the Ulsterman, tumbling back as McCloskey bounces away. Grady then plays the ball on the floor to deny Jack Conan’s enterprising counter-ruck - Ireland will have a chance at a bonus point try as they kick down into the Welsh 22.

Ireland 24-7 Wales, 77 minutes

16:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Held up! Aaron Wainwright and Dillon Lewis power towards the line but Cian Healy and Caelan Doris keep them out! Superb initial work from replacement prop Healy, and Doris arrived just in time to prevent Wainwright forcing to floor.

Wales have had their chances, you know...

YELLOW CARD! James Ryan is sent to the sin bin (Ireland 24-7 Wales, 76 minutes)

16:01 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Not for now, but they’ll have the chance to go again against 14 men. James Ryan is the second Ireland lock shown a yellow by Andrea Piardi, who can be card happy.

No arguments with this one, though - three or four penalisable offences within five metres of their own line. Ryan Elias puts the ball on the floor and restarts affairs quickly with a tap of his right boot.

Ireland 24-7 Wales, 75 minutes

15:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

George North goes close, centre partner Nick Tompkins closer still, and Aaron Wainwright burrows to within a metre. Mackenzie Martin...not quite. Tommy Reffell...half a foot shy. Can Wales force their way over?

Ireland 24-7 Wales, 74 minutes

15:58 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A pensive Andy Farrell looks down from the coaches’ box, stroking the flecks of grey in his bushy beard. His side have not been anywhere close to their best this afternoon.

That’s good from Cameron Winnett, the Wales full back bouncing out of a tackle and offloading to Rio Dyer. Three penalties in quick succession against Ireland - a card is coming but Wales want more.

Ireland 24-7 Wales, 72 minutes

15:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

George North hits an unders line from out to in but spills the crash ball. Ireland return the favour by knocking on a high punt, allowing Wales to introduce Ioan Lloyd at fly half.

Sam Costelow departs.

Ireland 24-7 Wales, 71 minutes

15:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Andrew Porter is still trucking along even past the 70th minute, and while he’s again moving forward at the scrum, his angle this time is deemed askew by the referee. Back he trots with a shake of his head.

Ireland 24-7 Wales, 69 minutes

15:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ryan Baird! What an athlete the Leinster forward is, bursting through a tackle and then away, like a galloping giraffe in the open savannah. But giraffe’s aren’t neccesarily known for their passing - it’s not the best from Baird to Jamison Gibson-Park, ensuring that the pair don’t go the distance on the fast-break.

Baird then biffs through Mackenzie Martin to show he’s got some power, too, but a fumble on the floor ends the Irish attack.

A few tired bodies out there. The ball in play time in this game has been huge.

TRY! IRELAND 24-7 Wales (Ciaran Frawley, 68 minutes)

15:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ciaran Frawley slices through!

An incessant knocking on the door from close range and it swings open soon enough. A pod of Irish forwards fix the eyes of the inside defence so Jamison Gibson-Park throws his pass wider, that gorgeous spin from the scrum half perfectly placed for an onrushing Frawley to glide on to and in untouched. Jack Crowley converts.

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 66 minutes

15:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Variation from Ireland, Ryan Baird almost through on the inside after sharp hands from Caelan Doris and then Robbie Henshaw denied a chance to open his legs by an excellent low tackle from Mason Grady.

Wales are penalised anyway. Kicked to the corner, from where Ireland will launch.

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 65 minutes

15:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s a lovely, clever kick from Jack Crowley, a low spiral along the right touchline about a metre short of a 50:22.

A pressure lineout for Elias, though...banker ball at the front. Tomos Williams hooks a clearance to Calvin Nash, who comes thumping back with interest into the Welsh half.

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 64 minutes

15:46 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ryan Elias is on at hooker for Wales, which unfortunately in this tournament has generally meant an errant lineout. And, yep, his dart doesn’t quite hit double tops.

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 62 minutes

15:44 , Harry Latham-Coyle

So onwards we go with the margin just ten points, and Wales perhaps wondering where they might be if they hadn’t turned down a handful of kickable penalties.

Ireland make metres in Welsh territory once more but a flat pass hits a forward and travels forward. They are in a bit of a battle here.

A long clearance is made a good’un by an energetic chase from Rio Dyer, clinging on to James Lowe. Jamison Gibson-Park box kicks into touch.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

NO TRY! Ireland 17-7 Wales, 60 minutes

15:39 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Bundee Aki bashes over!

That’s more like the Ireland we know! They get out of second gear for the first time in this second half, accelerating as soon as Andrea Piardi’s outstretched arm grants them the freedom to play. James Lowe surges on the outside and connects with Jamison Gibson-Park running a good support line.

Sharp handling gets the ball out to Calvin Nash, who is just denied, but Aki forces through under the posts after ignoring support to his left.

Hang on, though - TMO Eric Gauzins has spotted a knock on! The transfer to Nash involved a brush off Robbie Henshaw’s wrist, and the Frenchman in the truck believes it has travelled forward. Piardi agrees - try chalked off, Wales’ scrum five metres from their own line!

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 58 minutes

15:38 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Kelleher can’t quite connect with Baird at the tail of the resultant Irish lineout, but Baird’s long fingers claw it back in the vague direction of his backs, allowing Jack Crowley to scoop up the loose pieces. A no-arms tackle from Mackenzie Martin grants Ireland advantage.

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 56 minutes

15:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ronan Kelleher, James Ryan and Ryan Baird are introduced to the Ireland pack, too, as they once more lay the ramparts inside their own 22. Can Wales pierce that defensive line? Their carriers just haven’t quite had enough successful collisions to build momentum consistently today, but this is a bit better, replacement lock Will Rowlands putting himself about with typical biff.

But Ireland’s defensive structures are appropriately formed, and Wales just don’t have enough to drag them out of shape. A jackal, a whistle, a penalty Ireland’s way - it looked like hooker Kelleher in there over the top.

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 55 minutes

15:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A raft of Irish changes, with the most notable being the introduction of Oli Jager, making a debut in Tadhg Furlong’s stead on the tighthead. A debut in the Welsh ranks, too - Mackenzie Martin replaces Alex Mann in the back row.

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 54 minutes

15:34 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And that’s outstanding from Beirne! His first involvement after returning is to fight through the middle of the maul and pick the pocket of Elliot Dee at the back of it, stealing the ball as Dee looks to surge towards the line.

Wales are furious, but it all looked legal that time from the lock. Ireland clear.

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 53 minutes

15:32 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland fly up out of the line offside. Into the corner Sam Costelow kicks, with Tadhg Beirne returning from his yellow card before the Welsh throw.

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 52 minutes

15:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It won’t be too long now until Ireland are restored to full complement but they’ll have some defending to do before then - Joe McCarthy’s contact on the Welsh jumper at the lineout brings about another penalty and further Welsh inroads up the right touchline.

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 51 minutes

15:29 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A couple of changes after that elongated period of action. Dillon Lewis is on for Keiron Assiratti on the Welsh tighthead, and Josh van der Flier appears to be heading down the tunnel for a head injury assessment - Jack Conan is the first of Ireland’s six bench forwards introduced.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 50 minutes

15:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A clever cross-kick from Jack Crowley finds Calvin Nash in a sliver of space, but Wales cover well. Ciaran Frawley tries something similar but his lob wedge is secured by Josh Adams.

Finally a chance to draw breath! A neck roll is spotted by one of the assistants and Andrea Piardi has cause to blow his whistle. Phew.

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 49 minutes

15:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

This is the rugby chaos that Wales assistant coach Rob Howley was talking about earlier in the week. Ciaran Frawley’s chip and chase looks good but for an outstanding intervention from Aaron Wainwright, who then nearly produces a brilliant 50:22, the bounce of the ball unkind to the number eight.

Neither side wants to kick the ball off. Rio Dyer scurries down the left touchline and then there looks to be space as Wales play away from the ruck, but a Nick Tompkins spill ends any thought of exploring it.

Still no break in play. Jamison Gibson-Park’s box kick is long and accurate. Tomos Williams’s reply shorter and less so - Irish possession on halfway as this interminable passage continues.

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 46 minutes

15:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A grubber ricochets off three pairs of legs and ends up in Welsh hands, Cameron Winnett (just re-strapped after that earlier blow to the face) meandering a bit but eventually finding support.

Wales kick into the Ireland half, but not out of play, as has been their strategy all afternoon. On we go.

Ireland 17-7 Wales, 44 minutes

15:22 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s just the start to the half that Warren Gatland would have wanted. Ireland don’t seem to have let Beirne’s binning impact them, though - some lively handling and into the Welsh half they advance.

PENALTY TRY! Ireland 17-7 WALES (43 minutes)

15:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

There’s no grounding, but Tadhg Beirne’s change of bind is deemed to have denied a certain score - a penalty try!

Andrea Piardi goes to his pocket and then under the posts - Wales finally break through and Beirne is dispatched to the sin bin.

Try? Ireland 17-0 Wales, 41 minutes

15:19 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A healthy shove from Wales and has the maul got there? There are red shirts over the line but can the officiating team identify a grounding?

Not on the field, although assistant Karl Dickson believes that an Irish player may have changed his bind to deny the score. Upstairs to TMO Eric Gauzins to sort it all out...

Ireland 17-0 Wales, 42 minutes

15:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A bit of a delay as Cameron Winnett is patched up having taken a stray stud to the eyebrow. Nasty, but entirely accidental.

Ioan Lloyd is stripped off in case Winnett requires stitches, but the cotton wool and tape combo appears to have done the job. Sam Costelow prods into the left corner.

Ireland 17-0 Wales, 42 minutes

15:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Jack Crowley is soon forced to kick, though, and into a bit of aerial ping-pong we go.

Cameron Winnett ends it by charging back, and draws a breakdown peanlty, which Tomos Williams taps quickly. And Ireland are starting to get on Andrea Piardi’s bad side - the Italian referee has a stern word with Peter O’Mahony for the latest ruck infringement, Piardi not willing to entertain the Ireland captain’s argument that the infringing individual was counter-rucking legally.

Ireland 17-0 Wales, 41 minutes

15:14 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland break the line with their first carry, Tadhg Beirne spinning out of a tackle and up the right touchline. Ominous.

Second half...

15:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Can Wales repeat their efforts from round one and mount another major comeback? You’d be surprised if there was any let up in Ireland’s intensity but you can’t imagine Wales being quite so unable to maintain territory and possession.

No changes, it would appear. Sam Costelow gets us back underway.

HT: Ireland 17-0 Wales

15:04 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Credit to Wales, who have hung in there gamely, but it’s been all Ireland in Dublin. Set-piece supremacy, suffocating defence, and plenty of variation in attack - Ireland’s excellence means that Wales haven’t got into the game at all.

Some stern defensive efforts from those in red, but too many penalties have allowed Ireland to be patient and take control.


14:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ireland 17-0 Wales, 40 minutes

14:59 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Do Ireland fancy another adventure before half time? Yes, of course, working through the phases even inside their own half.

Slow ball prompts a re-think. Jack Crowley sends the ball into the stands and the players down the tunnel. Ireland have gone 148 Six Nations minutes without conceding a point.

Ireland 17-0 Wales, 39 minutes

14:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

A free kick at the lineout grants Wales another chance, but that callow squad looks a bit lost. Rio Dyer makes a sharp incision between James Lowe and Robbie Henshaw but Nick Tompkins’s tip at the line drifts between Alex Mann and Adam Beard, the two forwards looking at one another and not the ball and combining to spill.

Ireland 17-0 Wales, 37 minutes

14:55 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But there’s just no punch to the Welsh carries. George North builds up something of a head of steam but is driven back almost as quickly as he approached, and two Welsh bodies flop over the top to secure the ball as the green Irish tide sweeps them back. A ninth penalty of the half against the visitors will allow them to clear.

Ireland 17-0 Wales, 36 minutes

14:54 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Thump! A huge hit from Josh van der Flier arriving from the inside on the Welsh midfield carrier, but Bundee Aki is pinged for hands on the floor before he contests for a ball that appeared readily available. Wales again head for the corner.

Ireland 17-0 Wales, 34 minutes

14:52 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales were 20 points down at half time against Scotland, of course, but could really do with some sort of foothold here - they haven’t got into the game at all.

That’s better, a penalty against Jamison Gibson-Park. Take the points to ensure it isn’t a third pointless half of five so far in this year’s championship? No, Sam Costelow looks to be kicking for the corner.

TRY! IRELAND 17-0 Wales (James Lowe try, 32 minutes)

14:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

And James Lowe is there to capitalise on it!

Continuity, creativity and calm from Ireland, the three attacking qualities that set them apart. They are perfectly happy to wait for the space to appear, Jack Crowley’s sharp pass and Calvin Nash’s contorted right arm ensuring that it is found.

Nash’s excellent offload over-the-top of Josh Adams settles in Lowe’s lap and he strolls home untouched. Another fine conversion from Crowley and that Irish lead is starting to build.

Ireland 10-0 Wales, 31 minutes

14:49 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Into the Welsh wall the green shirts bash, hoping to force a brick free. Nothing doing up the middle, how about wider? Nope, the fringes are firm, too, Calvin Nash felled.

But there’s space on the left...

Ireland 10-0 Wales, 30 minutes

14:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

But it feels like Wales are slipping and sliding out of the game. Another lazy tackler brings a warning from referee Andrea Piardi to captain Dafydd Jenkins, who looked like the guilty party. Eight penalties and you’d imagine the next infringement will bring a card.

Ireland 10-0 Wales, 28 minutes

14:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Or not. Tomos Williams doesn’t like the look of the engagement and opts not to insert the ball. Free kick, Ireland, and you’d imagine that Jamison Gibson-Park will be rather hastier to put it in.

Indeed he is. Ireland get a nudge on but Andrea Piardi asks their scrum half to play away. Gibson-Park darts into space and finds Robbie Henshaw, who connects with James Lowe. Lowe is taken by three Welsh defenders five out, forcing Henshaw in to support and try to drive him to the line.

The centre ends up with the ball and turns towards the corner, but the ball had spilled forward into his grasp. Wales, just about, survive again.

Ireland 10-0 Wales, 25 minutes

14:43 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s all working for Ireland. Jamison Gibson-Park flights his box kick close to the touchline but Josh Adams can’t quite get his bearings, taking before his boot is on the white line and thus ensuring it is Ireland’s ball.

But another lineout misfire gives Wales a reprieve.

Ireland 10-0 Wales, 23 minutes

14:41 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales have done well to remain vaguely in this contest but they’ve not even had 25 per cent of the possession so far. That won’t help, either, a tackler failing to vacate the ruck space and another penalty Ireland’s way. That’s seven against Wales so far after not being whistled once in the first half against England.

Here’s that Sheehan score in all its muscular magnificence:

TRY! IRELAND 10-0 Wales (Dan Sheehan try, 21 minutes)

14:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It had been coming!

A team try from Ireland, the backs piling in to support their forwards in a mighty maul with Dan Sheehan the buried beneficiary. A fourth of the tournament for the all-court Ireland hooker, and Jack Crowley’s conversion ensures it is a seven-point score.

Ireland 3-0 Wales, 19 minutes

14:37 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Now that is a rare sight - a first lost lineout of the tournament for Ireland, Dan Sheehan slightly overthrowing his jumper and the ball spilling free off the lifted forward’ss fingertips.

It matters not - Andrew Porter marmalises Keiron Assiratti and Andrea Piardi is happy with the Ireland loosehead’s angle. Penalty Ireland, and into the corner as they again go in search of that opening try.

Ireland 3-0 Wales, 17 minutes

14:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Dan Sheehan takes a cross-kick and nearly bashes through a defender, before Ireland sweep to the left and James Lowe. Wales scramble across in time and force a loose offload - they are clinging on here, but clinging on impressively.

Advantage is over, but it’ll be Ireland’s lineout - a Welsh boot knocked the ball into touch.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ireland 3-0 Wales, 16 minutes

14:33 , Harry Latham-Coyle

That’s less good from the Welsh scrum. Ireland take the scrum option after a minor infringement at the Welsh lineout, and Andrew Porter tucks into Keiron Assiratti. Advantage coming but Ireland will explore what other opportunities might be on offer.

Ireland 3-0 Wales, 14 minutes

14:31 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland are throwing various shapes at the Welsh defence but so far that visiting Welsh unit looks pretty stern. Tommy Reffell (of course) wins a holding on penalty out of Joe McCarthy after the lock is turtled by Gareth Thomas’s low tackle.

Ireland 3-0 Wales, 12 minutes

14:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales’ starting front row went well at Twickenham, and hold firm against Messrs Porter, Sheehan and Furlong in the opening scrum entanglement of the afternoon. Josh Adams hoofs the ball up beyond halfway, but Ciaran Frawley is there to claim.

Jack Crowley tries to stab a little grubber through, but is half charged down. Tomos Williams scoops up the slippery ball but is short of support, forcing a teammate to dive off their feet in the hopes of protecting the ball. Sealing off, and that penalty count is starting to climb for Wales; Ireland return to advanced territory.

Ireland 3-0 Wales, 10 minutes

14:27 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Excellent maul defence from Wales. Adam Beard is such a strong dismantler of the drive, and Dafydd Jenkins and Alex Mann give him serious support in shutting down Ireland’s attempts to get a rumble on. Turnover ball, Welsh scrum feed.

Ireland 3-0 Wales, 9 minutes

14:26 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nifty! A fun move at the front of the lineout and Dan Sheehan scampers up the touchline, that effortless burst of speed following a lovely pop from Jamison Gibson-Park (surely the most unlikely of lineout targets).

Wales are penalised for offside at the next ruck. Into the corner Ireland go...

Ireland 3-0 Wales, 8 minutes

14:25 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another superb bit of ruck scavenging from Ireland. They’ve been on it defensively so far, sending a shooter out of the line to take the Welsh carrier low and let the second man attack the ball. Andrew Porter is this time the man limpeted over the top - another penalty awarded Ireland’s way by Andrea Piardi.

PENALTY! IRELAND 3-0 Wales (Jack Crowley penalty, 7 minutes)

14:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Straight and true from Crowley, using almost the full 60 second shot clock. Ireland are on the board.

Ireland 0-0 Wales, 6 minutes

14:23 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Another penalty against Wales, this time for a high tackle from Nick Tompkins. Peter O’Mahony has a chat with Jack Crowley and calls on the tee.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Ireland 0-0 Wales, 5 minutes

14:21 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Excellent work from Bundee Aki. Cameron Winnett looks to put some footwork on Robbie Henshaw but the centre snares him at the ankles, allowing his midfield partner to spear the ball with a technically perfect jackal.

Ireland 0-0 Wales, 4 minutes

14:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Neat work from Tadhg Beirne and Peter O’Mahony, a couple of long-limbed Munstermen combining smartly in heavy traffic. But Wales number up nicely on the outside and force an errant pass as Ireland return to the middle lane.

Tadhg Furlong is then offside as Wales look to build. A good start from the Welsh defence, and they’ll boot the penalty down into the Ireland half.

Ireland 0-0 Wales, 2 minutes

14:18 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It looks like a shot to the neck of Adams as he went low to try and bring Aki down. He’s ok to continue, shaking out the cricks as he trots back to prepare for the goalline dropout.

Ireland receive it and will attack from inside the Welsh half.

Ireland 0-0 Wales, 1 minute

14:17 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Up the centre from Crowley, as is Ireland’s preferred kick off, with Calvin Nash taking up the lead chasing role and navigating his way through the bodies. Wales clear long beyond halflway, where Crowley shifts inside to allow James Lowe a rumble.

Ireland then use the hands, but Josh Adams makes a sharp defensive read on Bundee Aki. Adams takes a bang, though, and that leaves space up the touchline for Robbie Henshaw to explore, kicking ahead and forcing a covering Tomos Williams to ground in-goal.

Adams will receive some treatment as Piardi brings us to a halt.

Ireland vs Wales

14:16 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ireland will kick us off, Jack Crowley taking the ball and awaiting Andrea Piardi’s permission to get proceedings underway.

There’s the whistle - round three of the Six Nations has begun!


14:13 , Harry Latham-Coyle

President Michael D Higgins shakes the hand of each of our combatants this afternoon, plus the officials - a proud day for history-maker Andrea Piardi.

Into the anthems, the Welsh squad in good voice. There’s a tear on Tadhg Furlong’s face as the first notes of “Ireland’s Call” play, and fellow tighthead Oli Jager looks pretty emotional, too, as he makes a long-awaited debut after that peculiar journey into international rugby.

Right, it’s time for action in Dublin.

Wales eye impossible Dublin job in rivalry that risks losing its shine

14:07 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales eye up impossible Dublin job in Six Nations rivalry that risks losing its shine

Ireland vs Wales

14:05 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Out onto the grass come the two teams, bright sunshine to greet them. A few seats still filling inside the Aviva Stadium.

Ireland vs Wales

14:02 , Harry Latham-Coyle

The players are beginning to ready themselves in the tunnel, Peter O’Mahony leading Ireland out as he returns for a 50th Six Nations cap. It sounds like a contract may now have been offered to the Munster flanker after several months of uncertainty over his future - a strange situation that appears to be moving closer to resolution.

Ireland vs Wales

13:56 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Not long now until the middle weekend of this year’s Six Nations is up and running. Do Wales have any chance today? They stayed in the fight impressively at Twickenham, but you just think a fully loaded home attack will take the opportunities England missed in the opening quarter a fortnight ago.

Andy Farrell also speaks to ITV

13:53 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“We want to be better than [against France]. Hopefully we can improve. I’m sure that they have got belief in their plan, and we do, too. The game takes its own course from the first whistle, it is who can manage that across the 80 minutes that will get what they want.

“Ciaran Frawley has been around the squad for a long time and played well in provincial rugby.. I’m sure he’ll shine.

“For us, it’s about being the best version of ourselves and approach the match in the manner it deserves. It’s a proper Test match - it always is against Wales.”

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell (PA Wire)
Ireland head coach Andy Farrell (PA Wire)

Wales coach Warren Gatland gives his pre-match thoughts to ITV

13:47 , Harry Latham-Coyle

“We’re massive underdogs playing against one of the best teams in the world so there’s no pressure on for us externally, but there’s pressure we put on ourselves in terms of wanting to improve on the first two games.

“Ireland were fantastic against France, and the Italy game as well, keeping them scoreless. They’ve got a huge amount of depth at the moment and are a very strong side.”

Rob Howley demands ‘comfort in the chaos’ from Wales in Ireland showdown

13:42 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Rob Howley says Wales will aim to create rugby chaos when they face what most people believe is mission improbable against Ireland today.

Wales have not won a Guinness Six Nations game against Ireland in Dublin since 2012, drawing one and losing four of the subsequent fixtures.

Ireland are chasing back-to-back Grand Slams – a feat never previously achieved in the Six Nations – and have taken pole position following emphatic bonus-point victories over France and Italy.

Andy Farrell’s team will also equal a record, currently held by England and set seven years ago, of 11 successive Six Nations wins if they topple Wales.

Rob Howley demands ‘comfort in the chaos’ from Wales in Ireland showdown

Oli Jager set for a debut

13:35 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Oli Jager is set to make his Ireland debut at the Aviva Stadium today having taken an alternative route to Test level. Born in London to an Irish mother and Dutch father, Jager played U18 rugby for Ireland Schools but missed out on a place in Leinster’s academy.

A move to New Zealand sparked Jager’s career back into life, though, with impressive performances for Canterbury leading to a Crusaders contract. His work in helping establish a dynasty under Scott Robertson brought him onto Andy Farrell’s radar, with a conversation on Ireland’s tour of Aotearoa in 2022 eventually leading to his switch to Munster late last year. Finlay Bealham is fit and remains Tadhg Furlong’s primary back-up, but Jager has earned his chance.

“We’ve had him earmarked for a while,” Farrell explained. “He’s a big man, low maintenance. A proper man’s man.. the ‘tache says it all, doesn’t it?”

Indeed it does.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Wales team news

13:28 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Sam Costelow returns at fly half for Wales after missing the defeat to England, stepping in for Ioan Lloyd, who drops to the bench. That is the sole change to the starting line-up made by Warren Gatland, with the rest of the 15 intact after a strong first hour at Twickenham.

On the bench, there is a potential debutant in back rower Mackenzie Martin, and Dillon Lewis is primed for his first appearance of the championship after injury to Archie Griffin.

Wales XV: 1 Gareth Thomas, 2 Elliot Dee, 3 Keiron Assiratti; 4 Dafydd Jenkins (capt.), 5 Adam Beard; 6 Alex Mann, 7 Tommy Reffell, 8 Aaron Wainwright; 9 Tomos Williams, 10 Sam Costelow; 11 Rio Dyer, 12 Nick Tompkins, 13 George North, 14 Josh Adams; 15 Cameron Winnett.

Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Mackenzie Martin; 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Ioan Lloyd, 23 Mason Grady.

Ireland team news

13:24 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Ciaran Frawley is given the starting 15 shirt by Andy Farrell in the absence of the injured Hugo Keenan, but Caelan Doris is fit and starts in the back row after an injury scare, sliding across to number eight.

There are six forwards on the Ireland bench, including a potential debutant in Oli Jager, who impressed with the Crusaders in New Zealand before a midseason move to Munster, with Conor Murray and Stuart McCloskey the back replacements.

Ireland XV: 1 Andrew Porter, 2 Dan Sheehan, 3 Tadhg Furlong; 4 Joe McCarthy, 5 Tadhg Beirne; 6 Peter O’Mahony (capt), 7 Josh van der Flier, 8 Caelan Doris; 9 Jamison Gibson-Park, 10 Jack Crowley; 11 James Lowe, 12 Bundee Aki, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Calvin Nash; 15 Ciaran Frawley.

Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Oli Jager, 19 James Ryan, 20 Ryan Baird, 21 Jack Conan; 22 Conor Murray, 23 Stuart McCloskey.

Ireland vs Wales

13:20 , Harry Latham-Coyle

It’s a dry and chilly afternoon in Dublin, with the fans filing in to the Aviva Stadium as kick off creeps ever nearer. Despite their remarkable winning run, here’s been a bit of chat about Ireland’s ground being slightly flat of late - will the home supporters lift the volume this afternoon?

Let’s take a closer look at the two sides set to joust this afternoon...

Keiron Assiratti set to face Ireland just a year after career hung in balance

13:15 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales prop Keiron Assiratti is set to face Guinness Six Nations opponents Ireland a year after his professional rugby career hung in the balance.

The tighthead considered signing for Welsh Premiership club Merthyr as the regional game in Wales grappled with major financial issues that stalled contract offers to players.

Assiratti had nothing on the table from Cardiff, and he seriously considered dropping down a level, while also potentially finding work outside of rugby.

But the subsequent turnaround in fortunes surpassed all expectations, with a one-year deal eventually being signed last summer before an extended contract was agreed midway through this season.

Keiron Assiratti set to face Ireland just a year after career hung in balance

Ireland v Wales referee: Who is Six Nations official Andrea Piardi?

13:00 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Andrea Piardi will make history this afternoon as he becomes the first Italian to take charge of a men’s Six Nations match. Piardi has had a fine couple of seasons in the United Rugby Championship, overseeing last season’s final, and will make his competition debut with the whistle in Dublin as one of two debutant referees this weekend - England’s Christophe Ridley has been appointed to France vs Italy tomorrow.

Ireland v Wales referee: Who is Six Nations official Andrea Piardi?

Nick Tompkins insists Wales are relishing stern Ireland challenge in Dublin

12:45 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Nick Tompkins says that Wales are excited and not daunted by the challenge that awaits them against Guinness Six Nations title favourites Ireland on Saturday.

The odds are stacked against Wales, having not won a Six Nations game in Dublin since 2012 and facing a team marching ominously towards achieving back-to-back Grand Slams.

More than a third of Wales’ match-day 23 have cap totals in single figures, while a vastly-experienced Ireland team last suffered a Six Nations defeat two years ago.

Nick Tompkins insists Wales are relishing stern Ireland challenge in Dublin

Why Taylor Swift is kicking Wales out of Cardiff

12:30 , Harry Latham-Coyle

Wales will face world champions South Africa at Twickenham in June due to Taylor Swift’s Principality Stadium concert.

The Springboks’ first game since their World Cup triumph in France will take place on June 22 as Wales prepare for their summer tour to Australia.

And the Qatar Airways Cup clash will be followed later the same afternoon by the Barbarians tackling Fiji at English rugby headquarters.

Wales to play home match at Twickenham as Taylor Swift kicks them out of Cardiff

Wales eye up impossible Dublin job in Six Nations rivalry that risks losing its shine

12:12 , Mike Jones

There is probably a parallel universe, not too different from our own, where Wales head into round three of the 2024 Six Nations with two wins from two and still in the grand slam hunt.

It’s certainly not too hard to imagine that rip-roaring second-half comeback against Scotland on the opening day leading to just one more measly try or penalty and thus a legendary victory, rather than an agonising 27-26 defeat.

And it’s similarly easy to envisage them converting that hard-fought 14-5 half-time lead at Twickenham a fortnight ago into a win, rather than watching England successfully overcome their biggest Six Nations deficit to scrape a 16-14 triumph.

Wales eye up impossible Dublin job in Six Nations rivalry that risks losing its shine

Talking points for Ireland vs Wales

12:00 , Mike Jones

Lions future versus Lions past

Wales boss Warren Gatland led the British and Irish Lions on their last three tours, including masterminding a Test series triumph against Australia in 2013 and a drawn series with New Zealand four years later.

He has left big shoes to fill for next year’s Australia mission, but his successor Andy Farrell was emphatically the leading candidate to take over on the back of Ireland’s stunning successes in recent seasons and he knows the Lions ropes, having worked as one of Gatland’s coaching assistants 11 years ago.

Their tactical battle this weekend will be fascinating as two of the finest rugby brains around put masterplans into operation.

Wales out to unsettle ‘world-class’ Ireland – Warren Gatland

11:48 , Mike Jones

Warren Gatland wants Wales to show no fear and embrace the challenge when they tackle “world-class” Ireland in Dublin on Saturday.

Wales have been largely written off – they are a 14-1 chance with some bookmakers – on the back of successive defeats against Scotland and England, while their last Six Nations win in Ireland was 12 years ago.

Ireland have lost just twice in their last 40 home Tests, need one more victory to equal England’s Six Nations record of 11 successive wins and are on a seemingly unstoppable march towards achieving historic back-to-back Grand Slams.

Wales out to unsettle ‘world-class’ Ireland – Warren Gatland

Talking points for Ireland vs Wales

11:36 , Mike Jones

Hugo Keenan absence a blow for Ireland

Leinster full-back Keenan has proved a dominant force in attack and defence for Ireland during recent seasons.

A player who always seems to excel, he has emerged as arguably the leading full-back in northern hemisphere rugby, someone that head coach Andy Farrell knows is ultra-reliable and also offers star quality.

A knee injury, though, has sidelined him from the Wales clash, with Farrell calling up Keenan’s Leinster colleague Ciaran Frawley for a first Test start after two appearances off the bench.

Given Ireland’s supreme playing structure, Frawley will inevitably slot straight in, but Keenan is a major loss.

Talking points for Ireland vs Wales

11:24 , Mike Jones

Ireland look unstoppable

After the crushing disappointment of yet another World Cup quarter-final exit, Ireland have shown no hangover, blasting out of the blocks with emphatic wins against France and Italy, while bringing the prospect of winning back-to-back Six Nations Grand Slams for the first time ever closer.

Two of their remaining three games are at home, and it could be that the hard work has already been done – defeating Les Bleus in Marseille – in terms of a relentless drive for more Six Nations silverware.

They will not look at it that way, of course, but it is difficult to ignore just how good Ireland are. Everyone else can only look on with envy.

Oli Jager earns opportunity

11:12 , Mike Jones

Oli Jager is set to make his Ireland debut at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday having taken an alternative route into the Irish national side. Born in London to an Irish mother and Dutch father, Jager played U18 rugby for Ireland Schools but missed out on a place in Leinster’s academy.

A move to New Zealand sparked Jager’s career back into life, though, with impressive performances for Canterbury leading to a Crusaders contract. His work in helping establish a dynasty under Scott Robertson brought him onto Andy Farrell’s radar, with a conversation on Ireland’s tour of Aotearoa in 2022 eventually leading to his switch to Munster late last year. Finlay Bealham is fit and remains Tadhg Furlong’s primary back-up, but Jager has earned his chance.

“We’ve had him earmarked for a while,” Farrell explained. “He’s a big man, low maintenance. A proper man’s man.. the ‘tache says it all, doesn’t it?”

Indeed it does.

Farrell picks Jager to start in bench

11:00 , Mike Jones

Oli Jager has been included on a bench which has a six-two split of forwards and backs. The 28-year-old’s opportunity at Test level comes after he left New Zealand club Crusaders to join Munster late last year.

“It’s always a pleasure to give someone their debut,” said Farrell. “I think this is a special one because it’s a special story in Oli.

“When we was over in New Zealand (in the summer of 2022), I met him about his plans and where that sat but he was content enough because he was building a really nice life for himself over there and doing unbelievably well for the Crusaders.

“But he showed his ambition to come back to Ireland and make a claim for a spot playing for his country.

“We’ve had him earmarked for a while but watching him start his career in Ireland at Munster, we’ve been nothing but impressed.”

Andy Farrell challenges Test rookie Ciaran Frawley to deputise with distinction

10:53 , Mike Jones

Andy Farrell has challenged Test rookie Ciaran Frawley to “prove a point” after handing him a long-awaited full Ireland debut in place of the injured Hugo Keenan.

Versatile Leinster back Frawley received his first call-up in the autumn of 2021 but has so far been restricted to 44 minutes of international action across two appearances from the bench.

“The versatility that Frawls has got has always probably earmarked him for a bench spot but he’s always been waiting for this chance,” said Farrell.

“Hugo doesn’t get injured too much, does he?

“His skillset is fantastic and it’s a big week for him so it will be a test of his temperament but he’s playing in a good side and I’m sure he’ll take his chance.

“He’s trained there (at full-back) for us a lot. It’s very natural for him to fill that position and he deserves his chance.

“He’s had an appetite to want to get to this type of position so now it’s come around I’m sure it’s a big moment for him and his family.

“But it’s all about performing. It’s all about taking your chance. All your need is a chance. It’s up to the individuals to go and take that and prove a point.”

Peter O’Mahony expecting tough test against Wales

10:40 , Mike Jones

Ireland captain Peter O’Mahony says it would be disrespectful to regard rivals Wales as a “banana skin” ahead of Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations clash in Dublin.

Warren Gatland’s winless visitors arrive at the Aviva Stadium as major underdogs on the back of narrow championship defeats to Scotland and England amid a transitional period.

Reigning champions Ireland have not lost at home in three years and are in pole position to retain their crown following thumping bonus-point victories over France and Italy.

Munster flanker O’Mahony, who returns as one of seven personnel changes from the 36-0 victory over the Azzurri in round two, believes Wales’ players are a “different animal” when representing their country.

“I think a banana skin is a disrespectful term for this Welsh team,” said the 34-year-old.

“I’ve learnt the hard way a good few times; these people are very, very proud and they grow massively when they pull on that red shirt.

“They’re a different animal, a different team and I’ve been on the receiving end of some heavy losses to these guys a few times.

“There is transition but it’s the Welsh 15 coming tomorrow, it’s no one else and I know from experience they’re an unbelievably proud nation and they play big and earn the jersey.

“That’s what we’ll 100 per cent be expecting tomorrow.”

Andy Farrell will not underestimate Wales in Ireland’s Grand Slam bid

10:27 , Mike Jones

Andy Farrell is braced for a “war of attrition” against winless Wales and knows any hint of complacency could wreck Ireland’s pursuit of successive Grand Slam titles.

The reigning Guinness Six Nations champions are overwhelming favourites to back up dominant bonus-point wins over France and Italy with another victory on Saturday afternoon in Dublin.

Warren Gatland’s side arrive at a sold-out Aviva Stadium seeking to stave off the threat of the wooden spoon following narrow losses to Scotland and England.

Ireland head coach Farrell acknowledges Wales could very easily have been in contention for a championship clean sweep of their own at this stage and is taking nothing for granted.

Andy Farrell will not underestimate Wales in Ireland’s Grand Slam bid

Talking points for Ireland vs Wales

10:13 , Mike Jones

Wales’ set-piece game has to function against Ireland

Wales’ Six Nations campaign so far has been a tale of two halves. In the first 40 minutes against Scotland they failed to score a point, then in the second 40 minutes against England they did not trouble the scorers either.

Wales almost did enough to win both games, losing 27-26 and 16-14 respectively, and were left reflecting on what might have been.

Wales lost six lineouts on their own throw in the Scotland clash, with that key area proving shambolic at times, and the scrum has also creaked occasionally amid many good moments.

There is no wriggle room against Ireland. If Wales get their set-piece basics wrong, they will be punished mercilessly.

Talking points for Ireland vs Wales

09:50 , Mike Jones

Herculean task awaits Wales

Wales are rank outsiders on their latest Aviva Stadium visit, rated no better than a 14-1 chance by some bookmakers, but it is not difficult to see why.

While Wales have lost nine of their last 10 Six Nations games, victory for Ireland would also see them equal England’s record of 11 straight victories in the tournament. When Ireland’s home record is factored in – two defeats from the last 40 starts – it all adds up to mission improbable for Warren Gatland’s team.

They went desperately close to defeating Scotland and England in their opening Six Nations fixtures, but Ireland in Dublin is a challenge on another scale.

Ciaran Frawley given chance for Ireland at full back against Wales

09:38 , Mike Jones

Ciaran Frawley will make his first Test start in Ireland’s Six Nations clash with Wales after being selected in place of injured full-back Hugo Keenan.

The versatile 26-year-old won his two previous caps as a replacement, including playing the final four minutes of the championship curtain-raiser away to France.

Keenan has been virtually ever-present in his country’s No 15 jersey during the past three years but will miss Saturday’s match in Dublin due to a knee injury suffered in the round-two victory over Italy.

Ciaran Frawley given chance for Ireland at full back against Wales

Ireland vs Wales prediction

09:26 , Mike Jones

Ireland have been the team to beat in this year’s Six Nations while Wales have been the team getting beaten.

Though Warren Gatland’s side will put in a decent display and make things tricky for the Irish it seems unlikely that the match will end in anything other than a comfortable Ireland win.

Ireland 32-12 Wales.

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