Wales have agreed with Ireland’s preference to close the Principality Stadium roof for tomorrow night’s RBS 6 Nations clash but will aim to take it off with a stirring response to their recent slump in form.
And the Welsh have upped the ante ahead of kick-off with assistant coach Robin McBryde declaring that Joe Schmidt’s side have “more to lose” as the visitors bid to keep their title challenge alive until the final day.
"It’s wrong for us to say we’ve nothing to lose because there are world rankings at stake," said McBryde after an uneventful Captain’s Run beneath the closed roof on a beautiful spring day in the Welsh capital.
"There is more on Ireland, they have more to lose with England ahead of them for the title and they are favourites.
"They are a good outfit, they beat the All Blacks and were close to a repeat at home. They want the title but we need to be at our best.
"They have a well-drilled game, they have plenty of threats in the tight, with an aerial game and runners in behind. We’ve got to be confident in what we need to achieve.
"If we can match the 65 minutes here against England and build on that, we will not be far off."
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It is a given at this level that the breakdown will set the tone, but when asked about what is coming at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow night Joe Schmidt was unequivocal about where the battle-lines will be drawn.
Joe Schmidt has rejected Shane Horgan's assertion that his selection of Tommy Bowe for the opening Six Nations fixture against Scotland was a "nostalgia call" after recalling the experienced winger to his match-day 23 for tomorrow's clash with Wales.