Ireland vs Wales Predictions: Irish dominance to kickstart this year's Six Nations.
What a game to kick off this year’s Six Nations. Ireland and Wales face off to open the tournament on Saturday at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Ireland vs Wales Tips:
After a summer which saw Ireland beat Japan and USA, they continued their good form, winning all three autumn internationals, including beating New Zealand for just the third time ever. Wales come into the game with a huge amount of injuries, with Alun Wyn Jones, Ken Owens, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau, Josh Navidi, Dan Lydiate, George North and Leigh Halfpenny all missing out.
That’s reflected in the odds for the game, with the Irish as short as 1/9 to win the game, with Wales priced at 6/1 to get their first win in Ireland since 2015. We’ll look ahead to the game on Saturday, and provide two tips for the clash.
Ireland vs Wales Odds
It was hard to find a fair price for this game given the short odds for Ireland to win. I looked at the handicaps for the game, but even -15 for Ireland was odds-on! So we’ve delved into the winning margin for the first half market. Ireland are the second favourites to win the Six Nations (3/1), behind France (6/4), and they’ll want to put a marker down on the tournament, especially on home soil. With Wales missing a lot of experience through the previously mentioned players, Ireland will look to capitalise on the use of their mature heads to get through the game, but the crowd will no doubt be baying for blood. Expect Ireland to fly out of the traps, with the likes of Henshaw, Earls and Ringrose causing havoc for the Welsh backline. Ireland to be 1-7 ahead at half-time seems like a sensible bet to me.
Next up, the legendary Johnny Sexton will show his dominance in the game over Dan Biggar. The fly-halves will always be pivotal in games like these, but the Irish backs should help to push Sexton over the line. The number 10 is closing in on Ronan O’Gara’s record of 1,083 points for his country, currently stuck behind on a highly respectable 941. At 36-years of age, Sexton shows no sign of slowing down, and he’ll be looking to surpass that record this year with a strong start on Saturday. He’s amongst the favourites to be the man of the match in the game, and will no doubt be putting the Welsh backline under pressure from the off.
You'll now receive our expert tips and predictions from next season.