Can Ireland build on the form they showed during the GUINNESS Series and overcome defending Six Nations champions Wales in their Cardiff cauldron? You can keep up-to-date with this afternoon’s game via our O2 MatchDay Live service right here on IrishRugby.ie.
This afternoon’s match is the 114th Test between the two sides in the Championship. Wales have won 62 of those matches, losing 45 and drawing six times.
This is the seventh time the two sides have met at the Millennium Stadium. Ireland have generally come out on top in terms of victories, winning four and losing twice.
The first score of this match will break the 27,000 barrier in terms of total points scored over the history of the Championship. Ireland need to score 13 more points to reach a total of 4,800 points scored in the Championship.
Number 8 Jamie Heaslip will be making his 50th Test start as he captains Ireland for the first time in a Six Nations match.
Former captain Brian O’Driscoll has scored six tries in 12 appearances against Wales in the Six Nations, with four of them coming at the Millennium Stadium.
It is also the first time O’Driscoll has played for Ireland without captaining his country since November 2003 when they lost 43-21 to France at the Rugby World Cup.
O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy will start together for a record 28th time in the Six Nations. They first played together in the centre in the 36-15 win over Wales in February 2004, and now have 22 wins and five defeats as a combination under their belts.
Wales field a more experienced side in terms of caps with a total of 558 compared to Ireland’s 517. There are three Irish players who are making their first Six Nations starts – wingers Simon Zebo and Craig Gilroy and lock Mike McCarthy.
We will have live text commentary direct from the Millennium Stadium, so plug in your laptop or turn on the PC and enjoy a flavour of the game live on IrishRugby.ie.
There will be full live text and score updates throughout the coverage, with our pre-match build-up getting underway at 1pm.
You can watch live TV coverage of the match on RTÉ Two and BBC One. Michael Corcoran will also be providing live commentary of the game on RTÉ Radio 1 (DAB, LW 252 and RTÉ.ie), with their coverage beginning shortly before kick-off.
You can feel part of the action on IrishRugby.ie with MatchDay Live – today’s Championship opener kicks off at 1.30pm.
Look out for the MatchDay Live button in the Ireland section or simply click on the link below: