It then became Dragon's Heart Hospital, treating coronavirus patients, before it was decommissioned. Wales played all six of their autumn internationals at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli, but they now head home, albeit behind closed doors and to a back-drop of more than 70, empty seats. Wales have produced some inspired performances over the years in front of their adoring fans, yet that wall of sound will now effectively be replaced by an atmosphere-free zone.
At the age of 28, wing George North is just two games away from collecting caps for Wales. He has been a regular fixture since bursting onto the Test match stage with a two-try debut against South Africa in But it has not always been plain-sailing and North lost his Test place earlier this season following a difficult start to the campaign. He has rediscovered blistering form at the Ospreys under their new head coach Toby Booth, which was highlighted by a strong showing at outside centre against Italy in December, and he starts again in the number 13 shirt on Sunday.
A big performance awaits. Six Nations Wales vs Ireland talking points and team news Wales kick off their Six Nations campaign by hosting Ireland in Cardiff on Sunday 3pm kick-off , talking points include both coaches under pressure, the return of Dan Lydiate and do Ireland have the edge over their hosts? Ireland rugby union head coach Andy Farrell. Dan Lydiate is back for Wales after more than two years after his last cap.
George North is will start at centre for Wales on Sunday. Our team of writers give you the insight and the knowledge needed to beat the bookies. Latest from The Rugby Tipster. Gallagher Premiership preview: Bristol to be frustrated by Sharks?
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Wales and Ireland will conclude the opening weekend of this season's Guinness Six Nations when they clash in Cardiff on Sunday. It is fair to say that was not a vintage year for Wales head coach Wayne Pivac or his Ireland counterpart Andy Farrell. Pivac succeeded his fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland, but he oversaw only three wins - against Italy twice and Georgia - from 10 starts.
Although Farrell's team claimed more victories than Pivac as he took the reins from Joe Schmidt, there were two comprehensive defeats against England and a Six Nations loss to France. Ireland beat Wales twice last year, and they are chasing a fifth successive victory in the fixture this weekend, but pressure is intense in both camps. Ospreys flanker Dan Lydiate will win his 65th cap on Sunday - more than two years and 29 Wales Tests after the 64th.
Lydiate, Six Nations player of the tournament when Wales were crowned Grand Slam champions in , was a mainstay of the team for a lengthy period during Gatland's coaching tenure. He turned 33 just before Christmas, but Lydiate's outstanding Ospreys form has warranted a recall, and he now teams up again with fellow back-row warriors Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau. There is no doubt that Ireland have had an edge over Wales in recent times, losing only four of the last 13 meetings.
They will arrive in the Welsh capital this weekend in pursuit of a fifth successive win, although their last Six Nations away victory over Wales came seven years ago. The two most recent encounters - both in Dublin last year - saw dominant Irish teams prevail and , so Farrell's men should not lack confidence for a game that is pivotal in terms of either side challenging tournament title favourites England and France.
Cardiff's Principality Stadium will be used on Sunday for the first time as a rugby venue since Wales lost to France there almost 12 months ago. Our restart form guide, home-and-away analysis, and historical information on the top Gallagher Premiership try-scorers have all added value to anyone interested in having a bet on rugby.
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