Wales in for a tough challenge from world’s top team.

Welsh players appeared upbeat for their final run through in the Principality Stadium. It hasn’t been the easiest of build ups after a week where the WRU was plagued by allegations of misogyny and racism.

Some of the players even had time to show off their skills in front of the cameras.

Eight of the starting team are over the age of 30 and there have been calls for fresh blood. Young guns Joe Hawkins and Rio Dyer are making their Six Nations debuts with young Exeter captain Dafydd Jenkins.

Wales’ opponents Ireland had a hugely successful 2022 and arrive in Cardiff as the world’s no.1 ranked side. They were unbeaten in the Autumn series and earned a brilliant series win in New Zealand last Summer. Ireland’s talismanic captain Jonny Sexton is out to prove a point after being left out from Gatland’s squad for the 2021 Lions tour. Ireland coach Andy Farrell has started the pre-match mind games stating his side want the roof closed to “sample the atmosphere”.

Wales on the other hand, had a distinctly dismal year. Including home losses against Italy and Georgia which led to Wayne Pivac being sacked as head coach.

His replacement is the return of Warren Gatland. He appointed hooker Ken Owens as his new captain. This is the first time the Scarlet has led his country at the age of 36. Owens kept it simple with the press calling his team a “work in progress” with “quality and experience” who’ll look to “deliver on the hard work” on Saturday.

Owens is the only player from the Llanelli based side in the twenty-three compared to twelve Ospreys. Gatland will hope for similar to his first stint in charge where an Osprey heavy side defeated England on route to a Grand Slam.