Wales vs Ireland LIVE score updates from the Six Nations clash at the Principality Stadium

Wales take on Ireland tonight in the Six Nations as Rob Howley's men look to right the wrongs of recent performances and secure a victory that would ensure they are among the top two seeding groups for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Howley has kept faith with the same 23 players who came up short against Scotland last time out as some big name stars get a final chance to prove their Lions credentials.

You can follow the latest news, build-up and the match with live updates courtesy of Wales Online.

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; George North, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Liam Williams; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis; Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (capt); Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.

Subs: Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris, Taulupe Faletau, Gareth Davies, Sam Davies, Jamie Roberts.

Ireland: Rob Kearney; Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Simon Zebo; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray, Jack McGrath, Rory Best (capt), Tadhg Furlong, Donnacha Ryan, Devin Toner, CJ Stander, Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Tommy Bowe, Paddy Jackson, Kieran Marmion, Cian Healy, Niall Scannell , John Ryan, Iain Henderson, Peter O'Mahony.

Key Events

  • Today's full travel advice16:07
  • The train situation later12:47

19:54Matthew Southcombe

It's nearly time

The players are in the changing rooms now.

It’s almost time for the talking to stop.

The flags are being unfurled on the pitch.

All we need now are the players! Standby for action.

19:45Matthew Southcombe

15 minutes to go

Here we go then folks.

There has been plenty said and written since Wales capitulated in Scotland.

The coaching staff have been questioned, the players have been questioned and everyone has had their say.

That’s in the past now, though, and they’ll be desperate to put in a performance tonight.

I just feel that so much hinges on how much pressure Wales can put on Sexton this evening, that’s the key for me.
Stop Sexton, look after your own ball and that should go a long way.

19:39Matthew Southcombe

Live footage of the warm-ups…

Head over to our Facebook page to see live footage of the warm-ups…

19:34Matthew Southcombe

So, what of Ireland?

We’re right into things now.

Both teams are coming together to go through the final stage of their warm-up.

This is when the heart rate goes up and the blood really starts moving around the body.

So what of Ireland?

Well, after their opening day defeat to Scotland, they come here knowing that a loss will pretty much end their title hopes.

They’re looking to set up a barnstorming finale with England next weekend and they’ve got plenty of weapons in their armoury.

The back row battle is going to be fascinating with six genuinely brilliant players going at it.

And so much depends on the half-backs. If Sexton and Murray are allowed to dictate, it’ll be a long night for Wales.

19:16Matthew Southcombe

Halfpenny with a point to prove

Leigh Halfpenny exchange brief pleasantries with Johnny Sexton as the two cross paths on the field.

The Toulon man is another one who will probably feel as though he owes a performance today.

So much has been said and written in the wake of the Murrayfield defeat and THAT kicking debacle.

For the first time ever, really, Halfpenny has faced genuine questions about whether or not he deserves his spot in this team.

By his own admission, he let the conditions and earlier errors get the better of him in Edinburgh.

But you can bet your bottom dollar that they will have had to drag him off the training field this week – he won’t want to miss any tonight.

19:04Matthew Southcombe

Biggar must repay Howley's faith

The build up doesn’t begin until Dan Biggar takes to the field to start his kicking routine… and there he is.

Biggar is always Wales’ first man out in his kit. With the help of Neil Jenkins, he’s going through some drop goals and now Sam Davies comes to join him and do some punting.

Plenty of pressure on Biggar tonight. There had been a mountain of support for Sam Davies to start at fly-half tonight.

Howley resisted the calls for change and now Biggar has to produce.

18:53

Quite a scene on Westgate Street

18:51

Traffic coming into Cardiff

Heavy traffic coming into Cardiff tonight ahead of the match.

There’s stop-start traffic for four miles on the M4 westbound between Magor Services and Malpas Road, although that was eight miles before.

Slow traffic also being reported on the A48 (Eastern Avenue) westbound in Cardiff between A48(M) and A4161 Southern Way (Llanedeyrn interchange).

There is also heavy traffic on the A470 North Road inbound between the Gabalfa interchange and Cardiff Castle

18:38

Here come the boys…

18:27Matthew Southcombe

50 up for Tips

Special occasion for Justin TIpuric this evening.

When he takes to the Principality Stadium field this evening, he’ll earn his 50th cap for Wales.

Congratulations to the Ospreys.

Justin Tipuric in training ahead of his 50th Wales cap
Justin Tipuric in training ahead of his 50th Wales cap (Photo: Huw Evans picture agency)

17:55

Stop-start traffic for eight miles on the M4

There is stop-start traffic for eight miles on the M4 westbound between J23 and J26, heading towards the Brynglas Tunnels. Travel time is currently estimated at around 30-45 minutes.

This is a mixture of Friday afternoon traffic, plus rugby traffic heading towards this evening’s Six Nations Wales v Ireland game in Cardiff, kicking off at 8.05pm.

17:41Matthew Southcombe

Spotted!

When the game kicks off at 8:05pm, the last thing professional athletes want is to be stuck in their hotel all day.

Most teams will go out for a walk to stretch their legs, unwind a bit before building up to the game.

Others will have little walk through of their patterns and such.

Ireland were spotted outside Cardiff Castle earlier today.
Full story…

16:58Matthew Southcombe

Foxy

One man who certainly enjoys playing against Ireland is Jonathan Davies.

The man affectionately known as ‘Fox’ has played against the men in green six times.

He’s scored three tries and won four matches – it’s difficult to remember him having a bad game against Ireland. actually.

The centre has been threatening to rediscover his best form in recent weeks, so don’t be surprised to see him play well again tonight.

Wales' Jonathan Davies in training
Wales' Jonathan Davies in training (Photo: Huw Evans Picture Agency)

16:07KEY EVENT

Today's full travel advice

Fans are advised to use public transport if they can.

There will be a full city centre road closure and the roads are expected to be exceptionally busy due to rush hour traffic.

Fans are advised to get to Cardiff and the Principality Stadium as early as possible, while those who bring a bag should expect to be searched.

Rugby supporters with tickets to gates six and seven are being advised a new barrier system will be in place, which is being trialled to improve the flow of people inside the venue.

South Wales Police said there will be an increase in policing around the stadium and transport hubs during the rugby tournament. The force said this isn’t in response to any specific security threat but is a result of the current global climate.

More than 100,000 Wales rugby and football fans are expected to flood into Cardiff city centre on Saturday, November 12
More than 100,000 Wales rugby and football fans are expected to flood into Cardiff city centre on Saturday, November 12

City centre road closures

The full city centre road closure is set to last from 6pm until 11pm.

The following roads will be closed in their entirety: Duke Street, Castle Street, High Street, St Mary Street, Caroline Street, Wood Street, Central Square, Westgate Street, Quay Street, Guildhall Place, Golate, Park Street, Havelock Street and Scott Road.

It will also affect:

– Kingsway, from its junction with North Road to its junction with Duke Street

– Cowbridge Road East, from its junction with Cathedral Road to its junction with Westgate Street

– Tudor Street, from its junction with Clare Road to its junction with Wood Street (access for residents and traders will be permitted via Fitzhammon Embankment)

– Plantagenet Street and Beauchamp Street, from their junctions with Despenser Place to their junctions with Tudor Street (access for residents and traders will be permitted)

– Saunders Road from the junction with St Mary Street

– Customhouse Street

– Penarth Road from the junction with Saunders Road to the entrance leading to the back of the Cardiff Central

Queues of rugby fans waiting for trains outside Cardiff Central Station after the Wales v Uruguay Rugby World Cup match at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.
Queues of rugby fans waiting for trains outside Cardiff Central Station after the Wales v Uruguay Rugby World Cup match at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

Sophia Gardens is available for event day parking and spaces will be allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Access to the Civic Centre will be controlled, with access allowed only for match-day parking, loading and access to private car parks.

The roads affected include King Edward VII Avenue, Museum Avenue, City Hall Road, College Road and Gorsedd Gardens Road.

Fans and commuters are advised if there are any safety concerns relating to the queuing system at Cardiff Central, then Wood Street, Westgate Street, Park Street, Havelock Street, St Mary Street, Penarth Road, Saunders Road and Customhouse Street will remain closed until the issues are resolved.

The trains

Queen Street Station will close at 9.20pm and all customers are being advised that they should plan to come into Cardiff three hours before kick-off.

Train services are expected to be “very limited” from Cardiff Central after 10pm.

Commuters should buy a ticket (a return, if needed) from the first available ticket dispenser or office, or from the Arriva Trains Wales ticket app, before boarding a train.

Revenue Protection Teams will be operating during this event.

Due to extra late night services being provided by Arriva Trains Wales for the rugby game, there will be some early morning timetable changes on the Saturday to the Valleys and Cardiff Local Routes/Vale of Glamorgan services. You can visit http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/events/ for more information.

15:32

The words of Rob Howley ahead of the match…

We felt it was important the same group of players had the opportunity to go out and perform on Friday so we have named an unchanged match-day squad. Friday night is an opportunity for us. There is a lot of experience in our group and you don’t become a bad team overnight. We want to show what we can do and that experience will be very important this week. We always say we are fortunate to have the best supporters in the world and we are eager to put in a performance for them under the lights at Principality Stadium on Friday.”

15:30

A special gesture to Elli…

15:18

A prediction for tonight…

We’ve been asking our rugby writers for their predictions ahead of the match. Here’s what Simon Thomas thinks will happen…

When it comes to predicting the result of this game, one stat above all guides my thinking and that’s the try count of the two teams in the Championship so far.

Wales have touched down just five times and only twice in the last two games, whereas the Irish have crossed the whitewash 13 times.

The contrast in attacking potency is stark, while Joe Schmidt – who has orchestrated wins over New Zealand, South Africa and Australia in the past year – has the forwards to take a stranglehold and provide the ammunition for his backs.

Sadly, I can only really see one winner. Wales 17-26 Ireland.

Wales v Ireland
Wales v Ireland

15:11

Who has the better team?

Who has the better starting XV for tonight’s match, Wales or Ireland?

Check out our player ratings in the video below to see which team comes out on top.

14:42

Travel update

Just a reminder that Cardiff Queen Street station will be closing at 9.20pm.

14:13

'Crap' and 'average'

Unfortunately that isn’t the name of the world’s worst pop duo.

Notorious Irish pundit Neil Francis has been having his say on the Wales team. And he’s not been very kind…

Read his comments here.

Irish rugby pundit Neil Francis
Irish rugby pundit Neil Francis

13:58

Quiz

Think you can name every Wales player to score a try in the Six Nations against Ireland?

Well if so, we’ve got the quiz for you. There are 17 different try scorers to name, and you’ve got four minutes to do it.

Give it a go here.

13:47

Prediction

It’s prediction time.

Who do you think will win tonight?

Cast your vote below.

13:33

Some lovely memories here…

13:23

Tipuric reaches 50 not out tonight

A word for Justin Tipuric who wins his 50th cap tonight. He could have had many more given his remarkable ability but he looks to have made that seven jersey his own for now.

He’ll be leading the Welsh boys out tonight. Congratulations.

Here’s what he’s had to say about the achievement.

Justin Tipuric in training ahead of his 50th cap
Justin Tipuric in training ahead of his 50th cap

12:54

Why won't Wales swap Liam and Leigh?

It is perhaps the most puzzling Wales selection decision of them all for many fans: just why are Wales persisting with Leigh Halfpenny at full-back and Liam Williams on the wing when the former seems so ineffective at 15 and the latter is widely regarded as one of the best in the northern hemisphere?

Surely the better option would be to switch the two and increase Wales’ potency in attack, so the theory goes.

Here, Andy Howell looks at the reasons why Rob Howley isn’t listening to the argument.

Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams during training at the Principality Stadium.
Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams during training at the Principality Stadium. (Photo: © Huw Evans Picture Agency)

12:52

What is the team news?

It’s as you were for both sides as Howley and Schmidt have both resisted the temptation to make changes to their starting line ups. Howley stressed his desire to ‘give the same group of players the opportunity to go out and perform’ following the miserable 29-13 defeat to Scotland at Murrayfield last time out. And Ireland are confident that the side that came from 6-0 down to win 19-9 against France at the Aviva Stadium are capable of doing a number on Wales on their own patch.

George North takes on Tim Visser at Murrayfield
George North has kept his place

Wales: Leigh Halfpenny; George North, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Liam Williams; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis; Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones (capt); Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.

Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris, Taulupe Faletau, Gareth Davies, Sam Davies, Jamie Roberts.

Ireland: Rob Kearney; Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Simon Zebo; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray, Jack McGrath, Rory Best (capt), Tadhg Furlong, Donnacha Ryan, Devin Toner, CJ Stander, Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Tommy Bowe, Paddy Jackson, Kieran Marmion, Cian Healy, Niall Scannell , John Ryan, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony.

12:47KEY EVENT

The train situation later

If you’re looking to get a train back home after the game has finished, here’s where you need to be heading.

12:47

Good afternoon

A very warm welcome to our live coverage of tonight’s Wales v Ireland Six Nations game.

Love it or hate it, a big Friday night rugby occasion is upon us and it’s going to be a lively one in the Welsh capital this evening.

The game kicks off shortly after 8pm but we’ll be bringing you plenty of news and build-up before then, including travel information as tens of thousands arrive in Cardiff.

Stick with us for all the details.

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