Ireland coach Joe Schmidt queries Wales' roof request for Six Nations decider

Paola Ditto
Marzo 15, 2019

His side produced their finest.

Wales, England and Ireland all have a chance to win the Six Nations on the final day with only Gatland's unbeaten side in contention for the Grand Slam.

"Guys like Conor Murray, Johnny Sexton, Garry Ringrose and Peter O'Mahony weren't in great form at the start of the tournament but they look like they've got their mojo back".

"At the moment, I'm not sure about the roof".

Ireland boss Schmidt fears closing the roof could make precious little difference in any case, recalling how he believes Wales over-watered the pitch back in 2017, when the hosts prevailed 22-9.

"I'm just saying what I see, mate". "I see a team that's looking exhausted; I see an Ireland team that's peaking".

Wales coach Warren Gatland was quick to ridicule Jones' comments and pointed out that England have made 133 more tackles than his side. "What the hell is Eddie Jones doing talking about our game?" he said with a laugh.

"If it was me I'd be concentrating on playing Scotland and I've got no real comment on Eddie Jones talking about us", said Gatland. "We've got an opportunity to show we're the best team in the Six Nations and approaching the best team in the world, and we're not going to miss that opportunity".

"For us, last time we said, "look, we don't mind, you choose", said Schmidt.

"My advice to Eddie is to concentrate on the Scotland match".

The row only served to heighten tensions between the world's No 2 and 3 teams as Gatland named an unchanged 23 and Schmidt brought Seán O'Brien, Tadhg Beirne and Rob Kearney into his starting XV, with Quinn Roux, Andrew Porter and Kieran Marmion on the bench. "So we're going in a great direction and Saturday will be a bit of an explosion".

"There's a great deal of urgency about what we want to do, what we want to play, the point that we want to prove". We've worked in the (Six Nations) down weeks and we've trained as hard as any team I have seen.

England wing Joe Cokanasiga, right, was a surprise omission for their Calcutta Cup fixture with Scotland.

Jones has a long history of ignoring public opinion in his selection decisions, the omissions of Danny Cipriani, Don Armand and, until this championship, Dan Robson, all in that category.

"With young players, particularly in this environment, you've got to look after them", Jones said. "I want him to play 100 tests for England - I don't want him to just play 10 tests".

"For us, I think, the last time it was closed, we arrived there and there was a lot said about making it good for spectators".

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has revealed Wales have made a direct appeal to the Six Nations that the roof is closed for their game at the Principality Stadium this weekend.

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