As huge rugby fans we await with eager anticipation for this weekend’s Wales v Ireland Six Nations match and we thought we would share some of the recent history of the rivalry of these 2 great teams, with a Welsh Dry gin !
The 2023 Six Nations rugby tournament is shaping up to be a thrilling affair, with some of the top teams in Europe set to take the field and battle it out for the coveted title. With the tournament kicking off on February 4th with a sold-out match between Wales and Ireland, rugby fans are in for a real treat. In preparation for the big event, we wanted to provide a comprehensive preview for all of the rugby enthusiasts out there. We’ll be breaking down the history of the teams, analysing their strengths and weaknesses, and discussing some of the most exciting moments from previous matches between these two powerhouses. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or just looking to get in on the action, this short read will give you all the information you need to get fully invested in the excitement of this year’s Six Nations
kick-off 2.15 4th February
Wales will face Ireland in the first round of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations, in a highly-anticipated match to be held at the sold-out Principality Stadium on Saturday 4 February. With both teams boasting talented players and a long history of fierce competition, this match promises to be a thrilling encounter.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland has named Joe Hawkins, who won his first senior cap against Australia in the autumn, as the inside centre for this match. Hawkins will partner with Wales’ most-capped player, George North, in the midfield. The front row will consist of Gareth Thomas and Tomas Francis, alongside captain Ken Owens, with Alun Wyn Jones and Adam Beard completing the tight five. The back row features Jac Morgan at blind-side flanker, Justin Tipuric at open-side flanker, and Taulupe Faletau at No. 8.
A Look at the History of Wales vs Ireland in Rugby Union
Wales and Ireland are two of the most successful and well-regarded teams in the Six Nations rugby tournament. The two nations have a long history of facing off against each other in this competition, and their matches are always some of the most highly-anticipated events in the rugby calendar.
The two teams have faced off against each other a total of 115 times to date, with Wales having come out on top in 53 of those matches and Ireland winning 52. There have also been 10 draws between the two teams, showcasing just how evenly matched these two sides have been over the years.
One of the most memorable matches between Wales and Ireland took place in 1999, when Wales secured a famous 27-25 victory at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. This match was notable for a stunning try from Welsh winger Shane Williams, who broke through the Irish defence to score what would prove to be the winning points for Wales.
The try was a perfect demonstration of Williams’ pace, power and determination, and it remains one of the standout moments of his illustrious career. The victory over Ireland was a huge moment for Welsh rugby, and it helped to lay the foundations for the success that would follow in the years to come.
Another memorable match between Wales and Ireland took place in 2009, when Ireland secured a convincing 27-12 victory over Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. This match was notable for the impressive performance of Irish fly-half Ronan O’Gara, who kicked 17 points and helped steer his side to victory. O’Gara was at the peak of his powers at this stage, and his brilliant display in this match was a testament to his skill and creativity as a player.
However, it is not just these individual moments that have made the matches between Wales and Ireland so memorable. Over the years, these two teams have consistently provided thrilling, high-scoring affairs, filled with drama and excitement. Whether it be a tense, nail-biting finish, or a barnstorming display of attacking rugby, Wales and Ireland have always delivered when they have faced off against each other.
This is due, in part, to the fact that the two teams have a number of talented and experienced players in their ranks. For Wales, players such as Alun Wyn Jones, Liam Williams and Josh Navidi have been key contributors in recent years, while Ireland have been led by the likes of Johnny Sexton, James Ryan and Tadhg Furlong.
These players have not only provided a wealth of quality and skill on the pitch, but they have also brought a competitive edge and determination that has helped to drive their respective teams forward. Whether it be a hard-fought battle for possession, or a clash of the titans in the scrum, these players have always risen to the challenge and delivered some truly memorable performances.
Furthermore, the matches between Wales and Ireland are always hotly contested affairs, with both teams putting everything on the line in their quest for victory. This fierce competitiveness is a testament to the pride and passion that these two nations have for rugby, and it is what makes their matches so enthralling to watch.
Of course, the two teams have not always been evenly matched, and there have been periods where one side has dominated the other. For example, in the early 2000s, Ireland enjoyed a period of dominance over Wales, winning several consecutive matches and establishing themselves as one of the strongest teams in the tournament.
However, this period of dominance was short-lived, and in recent years, Wales have enjoyed a resurgence that has seen them establish themselves as one of the top teams in the Six Nations. This has led to some thrilling matches between the two sides, with Wales and Ireland both determined to establish themselves as the dominant force in the competition.
In conclusion, the matches between Wales and Ireland in the Six Nations tournament have provided some of the most memorable and thrilling moments in the history of the competition. Whether it be a stunning try from Shane Williams, or a dominant performance from Ronan O’Gara, these two teams have always delivered when they have faced off against each other. With the latest instalment of this historic rivalry set to take place on the 4th of February, we can expect another classic encounter between these two proud rugby nations.