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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 26 January 2021
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Quarter-final countdown: what the Welsh media are saying about tomorrow's game

The Irish media in general seem reasonably confident that Declan Kidney’s side have an excellent chance of progressing, but what about their counterparts across the water?

Wales train ahead of the game tomorrow.
Wales train ahead of the game tomorrow.

AT THIS STAGE of the Rugby World Cup, most of you are probably sick to death of the likes of George Hook giving their thoughts on the Ireland v Wales game among others.

Moreover, a consensus seems to have been reached amid the abundance of views, with the majority of Irish pundits and rugby fans tipping Declan Kidney’s men to advance to the next round.

But what about the Welsh media?

Writing for walesonline.co.uk, Andy Howell admits that Ireland have experience on their side and acknowledges that Wales are more likely to freeze for the big game.

However, Howell also expresses optimism about Wales’ chances, writing:

“The way the Irish disposed of the Wallabies and Italy in this tournament was impressive.

“But if Wales are at their best, this remains an eminently winnable game.”

The South Wales Evening Post adopts a somewhat more cautious tone.

They also focus on the considerable gap in the average age of the two sides, as well as asserting that Ireland are adept at knockout rugby, given the 11 Heineken Cup winners who will feature on Saturday.

They then conclude:

“The bookmakers make the Irish marginal favourites, which is fair enough, but Wales have hope.

“To win they will need to produce their best performance under Gatland.”

Meanwhile, in his blog for The Daily Post, Dan Owens seems more adamant than most that Wales will prevail.

He somewhat controversially argues that they will be happy with the selection of O’Gara ahead of Sexton, given that Sexton offers greater “creativity” and indicates that Wales can exploit Ireland, on account of the Munster man’s perceived weakness in defence.

He adds:

“Both sides will fancy the win and I think if we can win the battle up front Wales will win.

“Yes the Irish have a good back row but so do we, hopefully Dan Lydiate will be back as that takes a bit of the pressure off Sam Warburton on the floor.”

However, the final word on this goes to neither an Irishman or a Welshman, but appropriately enough, a neutral.

Earlier today, footballer, twitaholic and apparent rugby expert, Rio Ferdinand, in addition to tipping England to beat France, tweeted: “Also I’m going for Ireland to beat Wales in the Rugby as well!”

So there you have it. Rio Ferdinand thinks Ireland will win, most Irish people agree, while most Welsh people disagree. Whatever happens, it’s bound to be a stormer.

Read: Memory lane: 4 other classic Wales-Ireland encounters>

Read: Shane Jennings’ World Cup diary: week 4>

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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