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Ireland U20s Bid For Grand Slam Glory Tonight

16 March, 2019, 09:20 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Munster player to make Six Nations debut for Ireland against Wales

Gatland will oversee his 50th Six Nations match and is bidding to become the first coach in Five or Six Nations history to mastermind three Grand Slam triumphs, while skipper Jones equals prop Gethin Jenkins' appearance record for Wales and the British and Irish Lions of 134 Tests.

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.

There are three survivors in Gatland's starting line-up from the Grand Slam clincher against France in 2012 - captain Alun Wyn Jones, wing George North and centre Jonathan Davies.

But England are waiting to pounce knowing that if Wales falter then victory over Scotland in the finale to the tournament at Twickenham would propel them to the title.

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.

"You get opportunities that come along in life, and you have to take it with both hands. If it was me I'd be concentrating on playing Scotland", joked Gatland.

"I think it's a fascinating close to the tournament", he said.

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"We don't have any plan [about the Wales game]", he added.

Wales ended England's hopes of a 2019 Six Nations clean sweep with a hard-fought 21-13 win in Cardiff last month. It was quite evident in the last game that their relationship was stronger than it has been for a while.

"There is bound to be a bit of emotion on Saturday and that is something to embrace".

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". "They are definitely going in the right direction", said a deadpan Gatland, with tongue in cheek after the game.

"We don't lose very often when it matters". Great credit to them for what they've done, but they are starting to look a bit exhausted.

"I'm just saying what I see and I see a team that's looking exhausted".

"I know he was thinking potentially about when he was going to call time on the game, but he is feeling pretty good at the moment so Wales might get a few more years out of him".

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