If Ireland need even more motivation than the prospect of their first grand slam since 1948, then Warren Gatland may have just provided it.
“Probably, out of all the teams in the Six Nations, the Welsh players dislike the Irish the most.”
Gatland’s comments are probably no more than off the field tactics to get a reaction out of the Irish camp. However it seems to have done little to spoil the Irish momentum leading into this weekend’s big game.
Kidney announced three changes to the starting line-up. The battle at scrum half continues with O’Leary starting ahead of Stringer, slightly confusing after Stringers excellent game last week but I am sure we will see him at some point. Two other welcomed changes come in the form of Flannery and Heaslip returning to the starting 15.
Ireland: Rob Kearney; Tommy Bowe, Brian O’Driscoll (capt), Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald; Ronan O’Gara, Tomas O’Leary; Marcus Horan, Jerry Flannery, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, Paul O’Connell (capt), Stephen) Ferris, David Wallace, Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: Rory Best, Tom Court, M O’Driscoll, Denis Leamy, Peter Stringer, Paddy Wallace, Geordan Murphy.