Wednesday 24 May 2017

What time, what channel and what are the teams? Everything you need to know about Wales vs Ireland

9 March 2017; Devin Toner leads his Ireland team-mates during their captain's run at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
9 March 2017; Devin Toner leads his Ireland team-mates during their captain's run at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

History will be made tonight as Ireland play under Friday night lights in the Six Nations for the very first time.

The new kickoff time will likely count for nothing when the game gets underway, but it is a treat for fans watching at home, finally given a prime time kick off after weekends of 14.30 and 16.50 start times.

Here's everything you need to know about tonight's game.

The form guide

Wales have already been eliminated from championship contention after defeats to England and Scotland, but will be determined not to be whitewashed at home for the first time since 2003. At 5/2, Ireland remain second favourites to win the Six Nations, but will need to win in Cardiff to ensure they can catch England on the final day at the Aviva Stadium.

Schmidt's side are in reasonable rather than spectacular shape, rebounding from the opening day loss to Scotland with comprehensive wins against Italy and France.

Where is it on?

The game takes place in the Principality Stadium. Where's that? It is the venue formerly known as the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

What time does the game kick off at?

The unusual time of 20.05.

What channel is the game on?

Coverage starts on RTE 2 at 19.00, while the game will also be shown on BBC One, with coverage kicking off at 19.30.

What are the teams?

Neither side made any changes to their starting teams, but there has been some bench activity, with Tommy Bowe coming back into the Ireland squad.

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Warburton, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans

Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Jamie Roberts

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Donnacha Ryan, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Jack McGrath

Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Cian Healy, 18 John Ryan, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Peter O’Mahony, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Tommy Bowe

What are the odds?

Ireland are three point favourites and can be backed to win at 4/6. Wales are 11/8 and the draw is 22/1.

So who's going to win?

Ireland... narrowly.

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