Six Nations

Ireland name unchanged side

2011-03-08 17:03
Declan Kidney (AFP)

Dublin - Ireland coach Declan Kidney named an unchanged side on Tuesday for this weekend's crucial Six Nations meeting with Wales in the Millennium Stadium.

Kidney has kept faith with the side which defeated Scotland 21-18 at Murrayfield last month, as the Irish aim to score their third consecutive away win in Cardiff since 2007.

Ireland, who beat Italy in their opening match before suffering a home defeat to France, need to win on Saturday to keep alive their hopes of winning the Triple Crown.

However Kidney warned his team to expect a ferocious battle against a Welsh side who have shown signs of improvement since following up their opening defeat to England with away wins over Scotland and Italy.

"There's not a whole lot between us," Kidney said. "Going to Cardiff is always a daunting task. I know we're in for a huge game.

"Two years ago there was one kick of a ball between us. At this level and with the fact that the two teams know each other so well, space is going to be at a premium.

"It will be one of those games that whoever takes their chances will come out on top."

Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll meanwhile said he had disregarded the latest betting odds, which have seen Wales installed as favourites.

"We don't pay too much attention to who's favourites or underdogs," O'Driscoll said. "Both sides have had mixed form; everyone's aware that if both sides click they are capable of playing decent rugby.

"We're not far away from clicking. I don't think either side will buy into who is the favourite or underdog at the moment."

Ireland (15-1)

Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster); Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), Brian 0'Driscoll (Leinster/capt), Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster); Ronan O'Gara (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster); Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), David Wallace (Munster), Sean O'Brien (Leinster); Paul O'Connell (Munster), Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster); Mike Ross (Leinster), Rory Best (Ulster), Cian Healy (Leinster)

Replacements: Sean Cronin (Connacht), Tom Court (Ulster), Leo Cullen (Leinster), Denis Leamy (Munster), Peter Stringer (Munster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Paddy Wallace (Ulster)

Read more on:    six nations  |  declan kidney
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