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Ireland vs Wales: Guinness Six Nations 2024 preview, team news, tickets and prediction

The round 3 clash in the Guinness Six Nations between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium

The round 3 clash in the Guinness Six Nations between Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday will see an in-form home side take on their neighbours, who will be desperate for an upturn in their fortune after two losses in a row. 

After dispatching France 38-17 in Marseille in the opening clash of this year’s competition, many pundits feel that Ireland already has one hand on the trophy.

It was an impressive result against the French, although the home side did play with 14 men for a long period following lock Paul Willemse’s sending-off in the first half. Nevertheless, Ireland, who are navigating their first tournament without influential captain and flyhalf Johnny Sexton, who has retired, look the real deal, as they did winning last year’s tournament.

Sexton’s replacement in the No. 10 jersey, Jack Crowley, impressed in the playmaker role against the French. Winning only his 10th cap, but his first in the Guinness Six Nations, Crowley kicked 13 points for the Irish to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Ireland followed that opening win with a 36-0 thrashing of Italy, securing a second bonus point in the process to cement their position at the top of the log, two points clear of England. To date, Ireland has scored an impressive 11 tries in this year’s tournament, while their watertight defence continues to be difficult to breach for the opposition.

Wales, on the other hand, has struggled so far this year, losing first to Scotland, and then England.

In their defence, coach Warren Gatland, in charge of Wales for the second stint, has opted for a squad that’s filled with many new faces following the country’s poor run at last year’s World Cup in France. A win against Ireland will build some confidence, especially after their impressive comeback in the opening-round clash against Scotland, where Wales lost by a single point after an outstanding second-half comeback, eventually going down 27-26 in Cardiff.

In that match, led by the silky skills of flyhalf Finn Russell and the rampaging runs from winger Duhan van der Merwe, Scotland romped to a 27-0 lead after 43 minutes. While it looked like there was no way back for the home side, Wales suddenly found their attacking range, running in four tries in just 25 minutes to give themselves every chance of a come-from-behind victory with 12 minutes left on the clock. Scotland, however, grimly held on, but Gatland’s young side, who claimed two bonus points, one for losing by less than seven and one for scoring four tries, had served notice that they wouldn’t be walkovers. 

With England up next in their second encounter, Wales, although now playing at Twickenham, fancied their chances against a side without Owen Farrell, their talismanic skipper. After leading for most of the match, Wales were pipped at the death as England ran out 16-14 winners to take second place on the Guinness Six Nations log.

While Wales claimed another bonus point for their close loss, they languish in second last position on the log, making the upcoming clash against Ireland all the more important in trying to improve on their fifth-placed finish last year. 

In a battle for the ages that started in 1882, Ireland will face Wales for the 135th time in their history. During those encounters, Wales have been on the winning end 70 times to Ireland’s 57, while seven matches were drawn. In games played in Ireland, the home side have won 33 to Wales’ 28 with five drawn

In their last five encounters, however, Ireland dominate, with four wins to one for Wales and an average score of 27-12. 

Match Tickets

The match takes place at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday, 24 March at 14:15 (GMT). 

If you’ve left it late to secure Ireland vs Wales tickets at this point, you’ll have a hard time finding any as the match is already sold out. 

Perhaps your only chance is to see what you can find on ticket reselling sites or to take a chance and see if any are on sale outside the ground on game day.

Team News

Gatland has already named his Wales team for Saturday’s clash, with the standout being George North at No. 13. He will be a real handful for the Irish midfield and will win his 120th cap for his country on the day. 

Gatland has opted for consistency, with only one change—Sam Costelow at flyhalf—from the team that lost narrowly to England. 

Ireland has yet to name their starting XV but does have some injury concerns, particularly for fullback Hugo Keenan. If Keenan cannot play, Ciarán Frawley will, in all likelihood, start in the No. 15 jersey. 

There’s also a concern that No. 8 Caelan Doris won’t be fit in time as he did not train early in the week. 

Ireland: TBA


15 C Winnett (Cardiff); 14 J Adams (Cardiff), 13 G North (Ospreys), 12  N Tompkins (Saracens), 11 R Dyer (Dragons); 10 S Costelow (Scarlets), 9 T Williams (Cardiff); 8 G Thomas (Ospreys), 7 E Dee (Dragons), 6 K Assiratti (Cardiff); 5 D Jenkins (Exeter, capt),4  A Beard (Ospreys); 3 A Mann (Cardiff), 2 T Reffell (Leicester), 1 A Wainwright (Dragons).

Replacements: R Elias (Scarlets), C Domachowski (Cardiff), D Lewis (Harlequins), W Rowlands (Racing 92), M Martin (Cardiff), K Hardy (Scarlets), I Lloyd (Scarlets), M Grady (Cardiff).


While Wales came back strongly against Scotland in their opening Guinness Six Nations encounter and led England for much of their clash, they still suffered two heartbreaking losses.

And while they will remain optimistic, their recent record against Ireland isn’t one to write home about. That, together with the fact that Ireland has made an emphatic start to their Guinness Six Nations defence and will be playing in front of their passionate supporters, doesn’t bode well for a surprise Welsh victory.

In fact, Ireland should win this by more than 12 points.

Ireland 31-13


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