Jones claims Wales look exhausted ahead of decisive Six Nations Saturday

Munster player to make Six Nations debut for Ireland against Wales

The Six Nations builds up to its crescendo this weekend and all the indications are that it will be an intriguing one.

The tense relationship between Ireland coach Joe Schmidt and Wales counterpart Warren Gatland adds further spice to Saturday's clash in Cardiff in what will be the last time both face each other in the tournament. Keith Earls 13. Garry Ringrose 12.

In 2009, they made the trip needing one win for a clean sweep of their own, while a Welsh victory could have sealed the title and the triple crown.

As rugby fans try to make sense of it all, they know that if Wales beat Ireland in Cardiff they will be crowned Six Nations champions. "If it was me I'd be concentrating on playing Scotland", joked Gatland. "We'll be in the game (against France)", he said.

"I have not seen a group of players as motivated as this before and this excited about playing in a Grand Slam game, wanting to win and put that jersey on and play for themselves and their families and Wales as a whole and what it means to the country".

"That's what I want to see, and for us it's about trying to stay level-headed over the next couple of days and be concise in what we deliver to the players so we are not too emotional".

Gatland's claim in 2015 that Ireland did not "play a lot of rugby" rankled Schmidt along with other assertions they "kicked the leather out of the ball".

"There is bound to be a bit of emotion on Saturday and that is something to embrace".

With three sides still able to win the tournament there's no problem with dead rubbers, although Wales against Ireland is the match which will shape the outcome. "They are definitely going in the right direction", said a deadpan Gatland, with tongue in cheek after the game.

"He has been very important to us, he is a player who does not pick up many injuries and he has been a constant". Great credit to them for what they've done, but they are starting to look a bit exhausted.

"I'm just saying what I see. They're in a good spot and they've got a lot to prove in the last game".

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