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Wales skipper Jones believes 'no truer test' than playing Ireland in Dublin

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Alun Wyn Jones: It’s a great place to play rugby, in a tournament game in particular. Photo: Sportsfile

Alun Wyn Jones: It’s a great place to play rugby, in a tournament game in particular. Photo: Sportsfile

Alun Wyn Jones: It’s a great place to play rugby, in a tournament game in particular. Photo: Sportsfile

Wales will aim to stay firmly in contention for a second successive Six Nations Grand Slam today - but the visitors have to look all the way back to 2012 for the last time they tasted victory in a Six Nations game in Dublin.

Heavy rain and strong winds are set to arrive in Dublin today, with Storm Ciara set to bring gusts of up to 50 miles per hour during the Aviva Stadium clash.

Wales' degree of difficulty is acute enough without the weather playing its part, having not won a Six Nations game here in eight years. Ireland were also the last team to beat them in a Six Nations fixture, claiming a 37-27 victory two years ago.

Wales, though, have reeled off eight successive victories in the tournament since then, including an emphatic Grand Slam-clinching success in Cardiff last season.

"Hopefully, we are not talking and dwelling too much about the weather after the game," Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones said.

"We will wait and see. It is very easy to say we are going to do this, do that, without playing the environment. We are not paid to be robots, we are paid to make decisions and adapt to whatever and problem-solve. You've got to be able to play both (types of game).

"Everybody likes to go out and have a bit of running rugby, but at Test level it's what suits your opposition first, and then the variability of the environment, secondly. Coming out here, it's a great place to play rugby in a tournament game in particular.

"We've had a mixed bag in recent years with a few friendlies and warm-ups, but coming out here - there is no truer test."

Wales have only won three Six Nations games against Ireland in Dublin since the tournament began 20 years ago. And head coach Wayne Pivac, who takes charge of his first away-day assignment today following successes against the Barbarians and Italy, knows that a tough challenge awaits.

Pivac said: "Ireland are very, very good at grinding teams down. They are very good at getting go-forward and once they get the go-forward then penalties tend to come.

"They've got a good set-piece which puts pressure on. They get to the sidelines and get the drive going, and then it's deja vu.

"We've got to make sure that we are disciplined with the physicality that we bring."

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