Kick-off: 1445, 16/03/2019
Stadium: Principality Stadium
TV: BBC One
Wales still have one big hurdle to overcome in their quest for Six Nations Grand Slam glory but we reckon they can see off Ireland in Cardiff.
Ireland were the last side to topple Warren Gatland’s men 13 months ago, since when the Dragons have embarked on a national-record 13 successive Test wins.
The hosts enjoyed a 22-9 victory when these teams met at Principality Stadium in 2017 and get the nod to prevail again at 4/5 in our opening Wales vs Ireland prediction.
A Look At Wales’ Betting Odds
We’ve been slow to warm to just how good this Wales team is, but a convincing 21-13 defeat of England here and a clinical 18-11 triumph away to Scotland has won us over.
Gatland has named an unchanged team as his table toppers chase a first Six Nations title since 2013 and first Grand Slam for seven years.
Captain marvel Alun Wyn Jones, wing George North and centre Jonathan Davies are the three survivors from their last clean-sweep and all have been in outstanding form again.
Full-back Liam Williams is another to have really impressed and he has thankfully recovered from a shoulder injury that forced him off against Scotland last weekend.
“We know what is at stake and the prize is massive,” declared Gatland. “We have spoken all week about embracing it and not running away from it.
“You get opportunities that come along in life, and you have to take them with both hands.
“I have said to this group of players you might never get a chance like this again and you don’t want to let those opportunities pass you by.
“I have not seen a group of players as motivated as this before and this excited about playing in a Grand Slam game, wanting to win and put that jersey on and play for themselves and their families and Wales as a whole and what it means to the country.”
The chances of this being an easy victory are slim, but 3/2 for a home win by 1-12 points stands out from the Wales vs Ireland odds.
A Look At Ireland’s Betting Odds
Ireland kept alive their hopes of claiming a second straight title when strangling the life out of France with a dominant first-half display in Dublin.
The men in green went into the break 19-0 up and scored first after the interval, before a late rally by Les Bleus restricted the final result to 26-14.
Former Scarlets turnover specialist Tadhg Beirne will make his Six Nations debut and Sean O’Brien returns at openside flanker, suggesting Ireland will look to also turn this clash into an arm-wrestle up front.
Joe Schmidt said of Beirne, now with Munster: “I think he knows these players pretty well. He’s played pretty often against the second rows. He knows his ex-Scarlets team-mates very well.
“With that combination, I do think he’s as ready as we can get him to be at this stage. And I know he’s incredibly motivated to be as ready as he can be.”
However, Ireland’s ambition may be tempered by the knowledge that they will probably also need England to slip up against Scotland at Twickenham to finish top of the table.
Ospreys winger North was their nemesis here two years ago when bagging a brace of tries, so 11/1 for him to cross the whitewash first again this weekend completes our Wales vs Ireland betting tips.
Scotland 11-18 WALES
IRELAND 26-14 France
Head-to-head: Ireland 37-27 Wales, Wales 22-9 Ireland, Ireland 16-16 Wales, Ireland 10-16 Wales, Wales 21-35 Ireland, Wales 23-16 Ireland
Join bwin today and receive up to £10 money back as a FreeBet if your first wager at odds of 1/1 (2.0) or greater is a loser! Terms and conditions apply.
Stay close to the action with the bwin app. Access more markets than any other betting provider and scan our in-depth rugby statistics menu to find and make your bet selections fast. Download now the best betting app.