Ireland vs. Wales: Date, Time, Live Stream and TV Info for Six Nations 2014

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2014

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 02:  Rob Kearney of Ireland is tackled by George North of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium on February 2, 2013 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Irrespective of context, Ireland and Wales always make for an enticing collision; it just so happens that this year's context is as heated as ever to make matters all the more promising.

Having both begun their Six Nations tournaments with victory, the European giants are now set to meet in Dublin, with the winner taking an upper hand in any pursuit of championship silverware.

A 2012 win at the Aviva Stadium set Wales on their way to claiming tournament success that year, but will the visiting outfit be able to stage back-to-back wins on Irish territory?

 

Date: Saturday, Feb. 8

Time: 2:30 p.m. GMT/9:30 a.m. ET

Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin

Viewing Info: BBC One

Stream: BBC Sport website

 

Back-Row Battle

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 04:  Wales captain Sam Warburton (c) in action during Wales training ahead of saturdays game against Ireland at Vale of Glamorgan on February 4, 2014 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Saturday's clash of Celtic foes will take a large amount of influence from the back row, with whoever should manage to come out on top of that struggle gaining an extremely useful stance.

Warren Gatland has chosen to reinstate Sam Warburton as his captain after the openside returns to the starting line-up, having found himself on the bench against Italy.

And Joe Schmidt has some focus currently on his No. 7 jersey, too, with Chris Henry impressing in the absence of an injured Sean O'Brienmbut facing an altogether more dangerous opponent this week.

With Peter O'Mahony up against Dan Lydiate and Jamie Heaslip facing off with Toby Faletau, one can see how these six facing off would be considered top-drawer entertainment.

Off the base of every ruck and with a more expansive eye cast out wide, these six will be of major significance to whoever should come out of this matchup triumphant.

 

Key Players to Watch

Ireland: Gordon D'Arcy 

DUBLIN, IRELAND - NOVEMBER 24:  Gordon D'Arcy of Ireland is tackled by Steven Luatua  during the International match between Ireland and New Zealand All Blacks at the Aviva Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Ima
David Rogers/Getty Images

Having missed out on the Week 1 line-up against Scotland, Leinster's Gordon D'Arcy is another encouraging presence making his return to starting matters this week.

As Rugby World's Paul Williams suggests, Schmidt's decision is a tactical one, with Luke Marshall perhaps not up to the physical challenge that Jamie Roberts poses:

Reviving his long-standing partnership with club and international tandem Brian O'Driscoll, D'Arcy will look to set alight the sparks that Marshall wasn't always capable of against the Scots.

 

Wales: Rhys Priestland

Although Dan Biggar may feel slightly more bitter about the whole scenario, Rhys Priestland retains his place as Wales' starting fly-half this weekend.

CARDIFF, WALES - FEBRUARY 04:  Wales player Rhys Priestland in action during Wales training ahead of saturdays game against Ireland at Vale of Glamorgan on February 4, 2014 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

The Scarlets playmaker had a fine outing against Italy—albeit a far from spectacular save for one 20-metre dash—but there's a lot more to be said for the test that Ireland will throw his way.

With a more physically imposing Jonny Sexton sure to be applying some pressure and a mobile Irish pack descending, Priestland will find Ireland's rabble to be capable of far greater than anything the likes of Tommaso Allan and Mauro Bergamasco could muster.

The 27-year-old has one of the world's most talented back lines outside him. However, those resources are useless unless utilised in an effective manner, something the Irish will be looking to stop Priestland from engineering.