6N: Sexton believes Ireland can spoil Wales Grand Slam party

Thursday, 14 Mar, 2019

A win would hand Warren Gatland his third clean sweep of his reign - it is his final Six Nations game before he steps down from his Wales post after the World Cup later this year.

"There was so much good in it".

They lost to England in the first round and then produced unconvincing wins over Scotland and Italy, which Sexton blames on minor errors piling up.

However, the Kiwi knows that with the six-day turnaround and with Wales riding on the crest of a wave with their current form, Saturday will be a completely different proposition for his side, especially considering Ireland haven't beaten Wales in Cardiff in the Six Nations since 2013.

The disappointment of Ireland's World Cup quarter-final defeat by Argentina carried over into the 2016 Six Nations as Schmidt began the process of expanding his squad but the side showed some signs of what was to come with this gritty victory in Dublin to deny England a second consecutive Grand Slam.

"We had a massive wrong to right", Conan noted regarding Ireland's previous home defeat to England, "we didn't do ourselves justice". 'It's never where you want it to be.

"The academy system is truly working in Wales now, and we are finding out who the top guys are from the age of 16 to 19, and we are holding on to them and not letting them fall through the fishnet", said Warburton, who retired from professional rugby a year ago at the age of 29. Bowe said. "This weekend it will need to be back, if we are to get a win over in Wales - What an opportunity, we go over as slight underdogs and I think that's something that could turn this team around and pull out a big performance".

"Those two games were as significant as any big win we've had in the last 12 months, purely because it truly highlights the strength in depth we do have". They are only two points behind Wales in third and there is a tinge of regret at the failure to land a losing bonus point against England and four-try bonus in Scotland, which would have left them in a straight shoot-out with the Welsh for the title.

He toured with the British and Irish Lions twice, and has played in three Rugby World Cups.

"We have got to be disciplined". When he says you are going to do something, nine times out of 10 it happens.

Both Schmidt and Best will be involved in their last Six Nations Championship matches.

"Now, I'd love it if we put two of those together but I know it's very hard to do". But, our expectation is that he will be training fully on Tuesday and, if he is, he is another guy who will be back in the mix for this weekend'.

"We have to give it a couple of more days before we know where we are at", the head coach admitted.