Ireland 'arguably the best side in world rugby', says Wales assistant coach

Ireland 'arguably the best side in world rugby', says Wales assistant coach

Wales' Warren Gatland will be hoping to sign off with a first title for six years and a third Grand Slam, while Joe Schmidt is aiming to retain the title and earn his first championship win at Cardiff following defeats in 2017 and 2015.

Meanwhile, Stephen Ferris, who was on the Ireland team that beat Wales in the final match of the 2009 campaign to win the Grand Slam at the Millennium Stadium, says the sheer weight of what a victory would mean for the hosts can push them over the line.

"There was so much good in it".

"They don't come around too often", Sexton said.

Ireland was 26-0 up until three minutes from the end when France, frustratingly saving its best for a time when the match was lost, managed converted tries from Yoann Huget and Camille Chat that skewed the scoreline.

However, the Kiwi knows that with the six-day turnaround and with Wales riding on the crest of a wave with their current form, Saturday will be a completely different proposition for his side, especially considering Ireland haven't beaten Wales in Cardiff in the Six Nations since 2013.

However, if Wales are victorious they will win the tournament, and it will be a record for Gatland as he would become the first coach in the Five and Six Nations era to win three Grand Slams. He has changed the psychology of the Welsh team and public.

Beofre the start of the Championship, Wales Coach Warren Gatland, who is perhaps 80 minutes away from a Grandslam in his final year in charge, was happy for his team to go in under the radar, while all the expectancy was on Ireland.

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Sexton said Best - who turns 37 in August - would be much missed when he retires from Test rugby after the World Cup.

"You get vibes of what a coach might do, but I do not know whether he will go back into the global scene, the Lions or go back to New Zealand. Whether Joe, wants to prove himself against him - there's a battle within a battle", former Ireland wing Luke Fitzgerald told the "On the left wing" podcast.

"He has an exceptional ability to get the boys up for what we are doing".

"We have to give it a couple of more days before we know where we are at", the head coach admitted.

"Getting the four tries, getting the bonus point, that was what we needed to stay right in the mix", Schmidt stated ahead of next weekend's clash with Wales in Cardiff.

"We have to extend that high performance period right through the game". "I don't think Wales have played well this year but what they are is big, physical and fit and it will be a tough one." . Beirne has been injured through this championship and although returning impressively for Munster; he was ruled out of the French game after experiencing difficulties in training last week, but Schmidt confirmed the turnover specialist is in his thoughts.

"Now, I'd love it if we put two of those together but I know it's very hard to do".

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