Ireland vs Wales: Six Nations preview

Wales have won just four of their last 12 matches - a run stretching back to last year's Six Nations and including a defeat to Waikato Chiefs: the victories came over Italy, Japan, a season-weary Argentina and a disintegrating South Africa.

Winger George North bounced back from criticism from his own camp to crash over the try line twice as Wales beat Ireland 22-9 in a bruising Six Nations clash in Cardiff that restored home pride after two successive defeats.

Jack Kelly, Colm Hogan and Charlie Connolly of Dublin University Football Club (DUFC) all represented Ireland under 20s in their encounter with Wales in the penultimate round of the Under 20 Six Nations Championship.

"We knew there would be a reaction and against one of the best sides in rugby you have to play like that both with and without the ball", he said.

England lead the table after a 64-0 win over Scotland today.

A yellow card for Peat allowed Wales get a grip of the game and a try from Shona Powell-Hughes tied it up at 7-7.

It was a brutal match, the ferocity of some of the early bone-jarring hits reverberating around a packed, expectant Principality Stadium in full song: Ireland made 81 tackles in the first half alone.

The first was particularly memorable as he ended a fluent Welsh move by brushing past Ireland pair Keith Earls and Simon Zebo to power over.

However, some Irish fans had no issue with Barnes' decision.

"Everyone has been writing us off week in and week out but we don't become a bad team overnight so this is just the start", he said.

It will be interesting to see if they opt for more of the same if awarded a penalty inside Johnny Sexton's range during the opening stages in Cardiff.

Sexton cut the gap with his second penalty, and Ireland put together a sustained spell of pressure but Wales prevailed and Roberts marked his 90th cap by finishing them off.

Ireland have played only three test matches before on a Friday, the last of which was against France during the 2007 World Cup.

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland will announce his squad for the New Zealand tour on April 19 and there will be plenty of candidates treading the boards on Friday.

Ireland resisted initially but North eventually grabbed the breakthrough finishing brilliantly after Rhys Webb's fine distribution.

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