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Wales Request That Roof Is Closed For Ireland's Visit To Cardiff

Wales Request That Roof Is Closed For Ireland's Visit To Cardiff

Wales have requested that the roof is closed at the Principality Stadium for this weekend's Guinness Six Nations game against Ireland.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt said that whatever decision the Six Nations reach regarding whether the Cardiff venue is open or closed, his team will adapt.

"There has been a request from Wales that in the interest of the quality of the game and the very poor weather forecast that the roof be closed," said Schmidt.

The last time it was closed, there was a lot said about it being good for spectators and the sprinklers were on for 30 minutes - the ground was very damp before the game started. That enters our minds: Which closed is it going to be? Is it going to be closed and wet or closed and dry? If it's closed and wet, we might as well have the window open and let the rain come in.

Last time we said, 'We don't mind, you choose.' They chose closed but made the field incredibly wet at the start of the game. We would be happy enough if it's open. We'll adapt to whatever conditions the game is played in. If the Six Nations decide that it's going to be closed, then we'll play in those conditions. If they decide that it's open, we'll play in those conditions.

Schmidt has made three changes to his starting team for the game. Tadhg Beirne will win his fifth cap - his first in the Six Nations - as he replaced the injured Iain Henderson. Sean O'Brien taking the place of the also injured Josh van der Flier and Rob Kearney instead of Jordan Larmour are the other changes.

Schmidt said that Henderson picked up his knee injury during the win against France.

"He didn't realise that he had it," said Schmidt.

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"I thought he played a super game as well. It wasn't actually until we got back to the team hotel that he felt that the knee was a bit sore - he's sprained it and won't be available for us this weekend. Hopefully, it won't keep him out for too long. He'll be back in the next couple of weeks, all going well."

Henderson's absence means James Ryan will run the lineout.

"I've learned plenty of Hendy and Dev over the last season or two," said Ryan.

" It's very much a shared responsibility. Tadhg runs it at Munster and Pete has so much experience in that area and so does Besty. There will be plenty of communication."

See Also: Three Changes As Ireland Team To Face Wales Named

PJ Browne
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