Wales started the championship in perfect fashion, thrashing Scotland 34-7 and only conceding a try in the penultimate minute of the match.
However, they were then ground to defeat by England at Twickenham as Jonny May’s try-scoring double was enough to earn Eddie Jones’ men a hard-fought 12-6 victory.
Garland was without Leigh Halfpenny due to injury on that day but is expected to welcome back a host of stars with a number of Welsh recovering from injury this week.
- Team due at 12pm
- Ireland vs Wales, Saturday February 24, 2.15pm
- Leigh Halfpenny expected to return from foot injury
Wales Six Nations team announcement LIVE
11.55am: Five minutes to go! The choice at fly-half wil be an interesting one. Gareth Anscombe was outstanding when he moved there against England, Rhys Patchell smashed Scotland but Dan Biggar is the man with the experience. Decisions decisions…
11.40am: Interesting to see that Taulupe Faletau, one of the world’s best No 8s, is not with the Wales squad today.
A video on Instagram has shown him playing cricket with his Bath team-mates at their training base (he’s alright, hits a big ball) and Gatland has previously said he does want to see these guys playing for their clubs before they are fit to play for Wales.
With Lion Ross Moriarty also recovering from a shoulder problem, I would suggest Faletau may be given another couple of weeks to recover.
11.15am: Morning! Has everyone survived the weekend off? I know I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself at 2pm on Saturday afternoon.
But there will be no question this weekend, as Ireland and Wales go toe-to-toe in Dublin. It should be a doozy and Wales could name a stacked team if Gatland chooses to use all the weapons at his disposal, keen to right the wrongs of a controversial refereeing decison to deny them a try at Twickenham.
The injury list features… no names, according to the Wales camp. Most importantly, Leigh Halfpenny is said to have recovered from the foot infection that stopped him in his tracks two weeks ago and will presumably start at full-back.
Dan Biggar and Taulupe Faleteau have yet to feature in this year’s Six Nations but are back in training, although without game-time a bench slot might suit both.
George North came off the bench against England and looked in good shape while Liam Williams is back playing and impressing for Saracens.