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'You’d have to ask the Irish guys what their mentality is' - Roof stays open in Cardiff

Ireland made a request for the roof not to be closed despite the poor forecast.

Murray Kinsella reports from Principality Stadium, Cardiff

THE ROOF OF the Principality Stadium will be open for tomorrow’s Six Nations clash between Wales and Ireland, at the request of Joe Schmidt’s team.

Despite heavy rain being forecast for tomorrow’s 2.45pm kick-off, Ireland have ensured that the roof will not be closed.

The roof being closed at the Millennium Stadium The roof will be open for tomorrow's clash in Cardiff. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

The retractable roof of the Cardiff city centre is invariably a talking point before big games in the championship.

The Six Nations leaves the decisions in the hands of the unions involved, with both nations having to agree on closing the roof. In the event of a disagreement, the roof stays open.

Despite the forecast for rain and wind tomorrow in Cardiff, Ireland have requested that the roof stay open for tomorrow’s clash, when Wales will attempt to secure a Grand Slam.

Ireland agreed to close the roof the last time they played Wales in Cardiff in 2017, but Schmidt was unhappy with the pitch being watered heavily before kick-off.

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This week, Wales made a direct request to the Six Nations for the roof to be closed, but the decision was left in Ireland’s hands as per the previous protocol.

“We know, as players, that it’s going to be open,” said Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones before his team’s captain’s run this afternoon.

“You’d have to ask the Irish guys about what their mentality is. We’ve trained here on a few occasions with it open and closed.”

Wales boss Warren Gatland has expressed his frustration that Wales are not entitled to make the final decision at their home stadium, but second row Jones said he would leave such matters to the powers that be.

Rory Best beneath the opened roof of the Millennium Stadium Conditions are set to be demanding.

“That’s for the alickadoos, isn’t it?” said Jones. “I don’t wear a shirt and tie long enough to make those decisions!

“At the end of the day, the pitch and conditions are the same for both teams.”

And the Irish reasoning?

Rory Best, the Ireland captain, had a straightforward explanation.

“I think in the end, really, we made a decision on playing a game of rugby in the outdoors, if you like,” said Best.

“A lot has been made of it, more outside our camp. We felt it was the best decision to be made and we just left it at that and focused on getting ready to play the match.

“Indoors or outdoors it will be the same for both teams.”

Bernard Jackman joins Murray Kinsella and Ryan Bailey on The42 Rugby Weekly as Ireland bid to spoil Wales’ Grand Slam party in Cardiff, and the U20s target their own piece of history.

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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