Ireland open their 2020 Autumn Nations Cup against Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Friday night. Wales come into the match on the back of a five-match losing streak which includes a 10 point defeat to Ireland in the 2020 Six Nations.
Ireland will be disappointed with their 2020 Six Nations campaign after finishing third behind France and winners, England.
Going into their final game of the Six Nations Ireland needed to beat France away to have any chance of claiming the title. Ultimately it was the French who came out on top, winning 35-27.
The earlier rounds of the Six Nations saw Ireland beat Scotland at home 19-12, Wales at home 24-14 before losing 24-12 to England at Twickenham. That is when the Six Nations was brought to a halt due to the pandemic.
Upon its return, Ireland thrashed Italy 50-17 before their final match against France.
Ireland Team News
Ireland head coach, Andy Farrell has made seven changes to the team that started against France a fortnight ago.
Winger James Lowe will make his Test debut while Chris Farrell starts at inside centre, and Jamison Gibson-Park gets the nod at scrum-half ahead of Conor Murray.
Others to make their way into the side is the experienced Peter O’Mahony at flank, Iain Henderson at lock and Ronan Kelleher at hooker.
Ireland Starting Line Up & Replacements
Ireland: 15 Jacob Stockdale, 14 Hugo Keenan, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park; 1 Ed Byrne, 2 Ronan Kelleher, 3 Andrew Porter, 4 Iain Henderson, 5 James Ryan, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 7 Josh van der Flier, 8 Caelan Doris.
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Will Connors, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Keith Earls.
After an impressive 2019 Rugby World Cup showing where Wales finished in third place, much was expected of the team in the 2020 Six Nations. Unfortunately they failed to deliver under new coach Wayne Pivac.
The fifth place finish is not what the Welsh public had hoped for as they went through the competition winning one of their five matches. That victory came in their opening match against Italy at home.
Thereafter Wales lost 24-14 to Ireland, 27-23 to France, 33-30 to England and then on the final day suffered a 14-10 loss to Scotland on home soil. Prior to the Scotland defeat Wales lost 38-21 in a friendly against France.
Wales Team News
Wales’ defence coach, Byron Hayward was relieved of his duties a few days ago after poor defensive displays. After the poor performance against Scotland last time out we can expect a number of changes to the team.
Wayne Pivac has already confirmed that he will use the matches in the Autumn Nations Cup to blood new players but we will know more once the team is announced.
Wales Starting Line Up & Replacements
Wales: L. Halfpenny; L. Williams, J. Davies, O. Watkin, J. Adams; D. Biggar, G. Davies; R. Carre, R. Elias, T. Francis, W. Rowlands, A. W. Jones, S. Lewis-Hughes, J. Tipuric, T. Faletau.
Replacements: E. Dee, W. Jones, S. Lee, J. Ball, A. Wainwright, L. Williams, C. Sheedy, G. North.
Ireland vs Wales Head to Head
Ireland have won four of the last six matches against Wales, including the last three. They last met in the 2020 Six Nations where Ireland won 24-14 at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Ireland vs Wales Odds
Ireland are comfortable favourites at 1.25 while Wales will pay 4.00 to win. A draw is available with bet365
The handicap for the match is set at 9 points.
Ireland vs Wales Match Up
Ireland are very strong at home and with the recall of some seasoned internationals Wales could find the going tough. The set piece battle will be interesting as this is Ireland’s strength and if Wales cannot upset the hosts’ momentum there it could be a long afternoon for the visitors.
Ireland vs Wales Stats
- Ireland have won their last 4 home matches.
- Ireland have won their last 4 matches against Wales.
- Ireland covered the -9 handicap in their last match against Wales.
- Wales have lost their last 5 matches.