Six Nations 2018: Warren Gatland warns Wales of these two Ireland stars

Wales will have to attack Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray if they have any hope of beating Ireland this weekend, according to head coach Warren Gatland. However, it is his comments about Ireland's half-back pair which will garner the biggest headlines, coming a year after Sexton had to endure a head injury assessment injury against Wales in Cardiff.

With the experience and class of players like Sexton and Murray, Ireland will always stand a chance, regardless of who they're up against.

Gatland added: "It is the first week we have had everyone in the "green" in terms of availability which is a nice luxury to have and a positive ahead of what is a very important Test match against a very good Ireland side. We've got a job to do to try and shut them down".

"We have got to be physical against them up front, stop the running power of someone like CJ Stander, and stop allowing Murray and Sexton to dominate the game".

Ireland now top the table on points difference from England after winning their opening two games against France and Italy.

Episode 51 of The Hard Yards features class interviews with Tadhg Furlong and Shane Williams, and previews Ireland vs. Wales in the Six Nations.

I thought the way Wales played at home against them past year was outstanding.

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Kearney revealed that Ireland have already been preparing to face Biggar, even before Wales named their side. They can certainly punish you if you don't get things right. Our line-speed defensively has got to be good.

Biggar has not played since limping out of the Ospreys' Champions Cup defeat to Clermont Auvergne last month.

And when asked if he thought if Joe Schmidt's side were the best in the tournament Gatland said: 'No. When we have been in tough situations, he knows how to get that extra couple of per cent out of you.

"They've given their forwards real licence to play ball and have that Scarlets look about them, the way they're attacking and pushing the ball wide".

"We expected him to come back into the team this week, so a lot of our scouting and preparation was on the basis that we knew he'd probably start".

Wales - 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Liam Williams, 13 Scott Williams, 12 Hadleigh Parkes, 11 Steff Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Gareth Davies, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Josh Navidi, 6 Aaron Shingler, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Cory Hill, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans.

  • Tabitha Byrd