Ireland vs. Wales: 5 Key Battles That Will Shape Six Nations Clash

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Ireland vs. Wales: 5 Key Battles That Will Shape Six Nations Clash
Tom Shaw/Getty Images

There are storylines everywhere you look in Dublin this weekend.

Warren Gatland can expect an interesting reception from the crowd at the Aviva Stadium after his decision to drop Brian O’Driscoll from the last test of the Lions series, but that’s not the only Lions-related issue on the agenda.

There are players coming face to face all over the field, from whom the Lions coach had to choose between for various positions in his Test side. Many of them went Wales’ way, which could provide extra motivation for the men in green this Saturday.

Strip all those subplots away, though, and we are still left with the fixture that, perhaps more than any other in recent memory, has served up some real treats in the Six Nations.

Think back to the 2003 opener edged by Ireland in Cardiff, the 2005 fixture in which Gethin Jenkins galloped away to seal Grand Slam glory, or the 2009 thriller that saw Ireland claim a famous Grand Slam.

Take this to the bank and cash it: there will be tries, talking points and a clear pointer as to the destination of the title in Dublin on Saturday.

Here are five key matchups that will play a large part in who comes out on top.

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