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Opta Match Facts Preview: Ireland v Wales

Opta Match Facts Preview: Ireland v Wales

For Andy Farrell's second match in charge of Ireland, they welcome last year's Grand Slam champions Wales to the Aviva Stadium ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Opta bring you all the team and player facts you need as the build-up continues to Ireland’s Guinness Six Nations showdown with Wales at the Aviva Stadium (kick-off 2.15pm).


– Wales have lost just one of their last five Six Nations matches against Ireland (W3, D1), although their only defeat in that spell came the last time they travelled to Dublin in the tournament (2018)

– Ireland are unbeaten in their last three home games against Wales in the Five/Six Nations (W2, D1), the last time they enjoyed a longer such run was a four-game spell between 1966 and 1974 (W3, D1)

– Wales have won their last eight fixtures in the Six Nations. Victory against Ireland would see them equal their best winning run in the history of the Five or Six Nations which they set between 1970 and 1973 (W9)

– Ireland have lost just two of their last 22 Test matches on home soil (W19, D1) with only New Zealand (November 2016) and England (February 2019) coming away from Dublin with victory in that spell

– Ireland recorded a 99% ruck success rate against Scotland last weekend, winning 104 of their 105 attacking rucks, the best rate of any team in the opening round of this year’s Six Nations

– Wales gained the most metres (563) of any side in the opening round of this year’s Six Nations, while Ireland gained the second most (413). Wales also topped the charts for clean breaks (12) and defenders beaten (26, level with Scotland and France)

– Wales won 10 turnovers against Italy in the opening round of this year’s Six Nations, more than any other side. In fact, only once did any side reach double figures for turnovers won in the Championship last year (France, round 4, 11 v Ireland)

– Ireland’s Jordan Larmour made the most carries (19) and metres (138) of any player in the opening round of this year’s Six Nations, while Wales’ Leigh Halfpenny ranked second in both categories (17 carries, 107 metres)

– Josh Adams crossed for a hat-trick in the opening round of the 2020 Six Nations and now has 13 tries in Test rugby since the beginning of 2019, two more than any other player in that time (Jonny May, 11)

– Justin Tipuric was the first man to the ruck on 20 occasions for Wales against Italy. Only Gregory Alldritt (21) recorded more first arrivals in the opening round of Six Nations fixtures, while Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony was the next best player (19)


Max Deegan is set to make his Test debut from the bench this weekend. Since 2003 only two players have made their Ireland debut against Wales, both of whom will start today – Tadhg Furlong (August 2015) and CJ Stander (February 2016)

Rob Herring landed 9/9 lineout throws against Scotland last weekend. Out of the nine hookers to make a throw in round 1, he was one of just three to maintain a 100% success rate, along with Luke Cowan-Dickie (5/5) and Ryan Elias (4/4)

Jacob Stockdale gained 52 metres from just five carries against Scotland, his average gain of 10.4 metres per carry was the best rate of any back and the second best rate of any player overall in round 1 (Charles Ollivon – 11.3m, 68 from 6 carries)

Conor Murray assisted Ireland’s only try against Scotland and now has 20 try assists to his name in the Six Nations, the first player to reach that tally in the competition (Jonny Wilkinson and Ronan O’Gara next on 17)

Jordan Larmour made the most carries (19) and metres (138) of any player in round 1. It was his most carries in a match for Ireland or Leinster and his second most metres after gaining 245 against Italy in November 2018


– Rhys Carre (August 2019), Ross Moriarty (August 2015) and Jake Ball (February 2014) all made their Test debuts for Wales against Ireland

– Tomos Williams made four clean breaks against Italy last weekend, the most of any player in the opening round of this season’s Six Nations

– Leigh Halfpenny gained 107 metres against Italy last weekend. It was the first time since March 2012 (versus France) that he had gained 100+ metres in a Test match. Only Jordan Larmour (138) gained more in the opening round of this year’s Six Nations

– George North scored his 40th try for Wales last weekend against Italy, drawing him level with Gareth Thomas as the country’s joint-second top try scorer in Test history. Only Shane Williams has more (58)

– Wyn Jones conceded the most penalties of any player in the opening round of this year’s Six Nations (4), including a joint-high two scrum offences (level with Cian Healy and Demba Bamba)