Six Nations worldwide: Wales v Ireland

Ireland centre Jared Payne is set to miss his side's Six Nations clash with Wales on Friday

Ireland centre Jared Payne is set to miss his side's Six Nations clash with Wales on Friday

A number of Wales players came under an intense media spotlight following a second-half implosion in Edinburgh when Scotland scored 20 unanswered points to claim their first victory in the fixture since 2007, but Howley has not reached for any panic button as Wales look to derail Ireland's Six Nations title hopes.

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"It's a challenge for both sides and an opportunity for both sides to have those unchanged starting XVs and the full 23 for Wales".

The Wales backline fired its first shot in reply when George North twice showed his power and pace to take his side down into the Irish 22.

Wales beat Italy in their opening game, but defeats by England and Scotland have meant a drop to seventh in the World Rugby global rankings.

Indeed their sole change sees Tommy Bowe - a try-scorer in Cardiff back in 2009 when they clinched an historic Grand Slam - return onto the bench.

Johnny Sexton was sent to the sin bin just before the break and Wales capitalised after it with a second try for North before replacement Jamie Roberts scrambled a charge-down over the line. The Welsh capital was also the venue for three of Ireland 's fixtures at the last World Cup.

"Some of what we didn't do so well against France, we must do better against Wales", he said.

When England visited Cardiff last month, manager Eddie Jones insisted on the roof remaining open.

"It's wrong for me to say there's nothing for us to lose because we're out of the championship". We've shown faith in them as coaches, we feel there's a lot more to come from that group of players, they're deserving of that opportunity and this is their shot at it.

Tipuric will have the honour of leading out Wales and then, hopefully after helping Wales to a much-needed win, he will have to serenade his teammates. Traditionally a strong defensive team they can run out of ideas when starved of possession and struggle when chasing the game. Wayne Barnes made some controversial decisions on that day and has not refereed Ireland since.

The bookmakers think this is going to be a tight match with Ireland winning by 3 points.

"They're a great team".

George North sent Ireland's title ambitions south after responding to a warning about his form with two tries in a thunderous encounter that Wales won with their heart and their head.

Ireland are the only side yet to concede a second-half try in this year's Six Nations.

"We know exactly what type of game it's going to be".

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