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Warren Gatland snaps back at Eddie Jones ahead of Six Nations finale

16 March, 2019, 21:57 | Author: Tommie Newton
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Twenty seven-year-old Beirne replaces the injured Iain Henderson in Ireland's engine room for the game.

FIVE Munster players have been included in Ireland's starting line-up to face Wales in Saturday's final Guinness Six Nations fixture at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, 2.45pm.

"I pride myself on the record I've had in big matches when it has really mattered", added Gatland, ahead of his final Six Nations game as Wales head coach before he steps down later this year. They are right wing Keith Earls, scrum-half Conor Murray, flanker Peter O'Mahony and No.8 CJ Stander.

"He probably would have liked to have had a bit more game time leading into it but it's just a case of slotting people in", said Schmidt. "We've got an opportunity to show that we're the best team in the Six Nations and approaching the best team in the world and we're not going to miss that opportunity".

Jones again packs down with Adam Beard in the second row, with Rob Evans, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis continuing together in the front row, as Josh Navidi, Justin Tipuric and Ross Moriarty combine in the back row. He will know his fellow Scarlets teammates very well. "I see a team that's looking exhausted and I see an Ireland team that's peaking", said Jones.

England head coach Eddie Jones has suggested that Wales are starting to feel the pace
England head coach Eddie Jones has suggested that Wales are starting to feel the pace

Ireland's centres and wingers are unchanged from last week's game with France, while Munster duo Niall Scannell and Dave Kilcoyne complete the replacements alongside Leinster's Andrew Porter and Jack Conan.

"To say that was not his best performance, I know he'd agree with that", said Schmidt.

"My advice to Eddie is to concentrate on the Scotland match". Victory will secure the Grand Slam for Gatland's side.

Rob Kearney, who was a late withdrawal last weekend, returns at full-back having recovered from a calf strain.

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