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Wales and Ireland kick off the 2023 Six Nations Championship in front of a full-house at the Millenium Stadium, Cardiff. Not only will this be a huge game in the context of this tournament, but there are only 216 days until the start of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Both teams will be eager to get off to a winning start in South Wales on Saturday evening!
Ireland to Win By 13 or More Points
Ireland to Score 1st, Lead at Half-Time and Win the Match
These odds from Ladbrokes were correct at the time of writing.
Wales vs Ireland – Match Prediction
The Six Nations always delivers fascinating contests played out in front of passionate crowds. Here are our rugby predictions for this game:
Ireland to Win By 13 or More Points @ 7/4 (2.75)
Wales are always a formidable side, particularly at home in the Six Nations Championship. However, they are up against Ireland, ranked no.1 in the world, who have won six matches in a row. Ireland’s last game saw them overpower Australia to win 13-10 in late November and they will come into this clash full of confidence.
The hosts won only one of their four autumn internationals and suffered the embarrassment of a 12-13 defeat to Georgia in November. This is by no means the best Welsh side we have seen in recent years and we expect Ireland to be too strong for them.
Ireland to Score 1st, Lead at Half-Time and Win the Match @ 7/4 (2.75)
Cheered on by the partisan home crowd, Wales will certainly look to come quickly out of the blocks and catch Ireland cold in the opening exchanges. However, Ireland are a team full of experience who have played in all of these hostile environments before and we expect them to be able to weather any early storm from the Welsh players.
Wales vs Ireland Preview
With these two bets in mind, here’s a brief look at how each team is shaping up:
Under Coach Warren Gatland, Wales will be keen to get off to a flying start and take advantage of playing the favourites, Ireland, at the Millenium Stadium. The hosts had a very poor tournament in 2022 and won only one match. If they can match that victory in this game then it will rank as one of Gatland’s finest achievements with the Welsh side.
Wales team: 15. Leigh Halfpenny, 14. Josh Adams, 13. George North, 12. Joe Hawkins, 11. Rio Dyer,
10. Dan Biggar, 9. Tomos Williams, 1. Gareth Thomas, 2. Ken Owens (c), 3. Tomas Francis, 4. Adam Beard, 5. Alun Wyn Jones, 6. Jac Morgan, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Taulupe Faletau
Ireland came second in the 2022 Six Nations Championship but did pick up the Triple Crown along the way. They began that campaign with a 29-7 victory over Wales, then the Six Nations Holders, in Dublin and will be looking for a similarly convincing win in this game.
Ireland team: 15. Hugo Keenan, 14. Mack Hansen, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Stuart McCloskey, 11. James Lowe, 10. Johnny Sexton (c), 9. Jamison Gibson Park, 1. Andrew Porter, 2. Dan Sheehan, 3. Finlay Bealham, 4. Tadhg Beirne, 5. James Ryan, 6. Peter O’Mahony, 7. Josh van der Flier, 8. Caelan Doris
Wales vs Ireland Head to Head
Wales have a 76-56 lead over Ireland in head to heads but six of the last eight contests have been won by Ireland. However, of the last four head to heads in Cardiff, Wales have come out on top in three of them.
Wales vs Ireland Match Details
- Date and time: Saturday 4th of January at 2:15 PM GMT.
- Venue: Millenium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales
- How to watch Wales vs Ireland Six Nations in the UK: BBC1