Ireland and Wales will go into battle in Cardiff tonight not only under the Friday night lights but also the cover of the Principality Stadium's roof.
At yesterday's captain's run, Rory Best explained that Joe Schmidt sought the advice of both him and Johnny Sexton before taking the decision to have the roof closed for the game.
Best, quoted by the Irish Independent, said that Dublin conditions for the 19-9 win against France nearly a fortnight ago had a negative impact on Ireland's game. They did not want to take the same chance again tonight.
There is rain forecast. Joe asked myself and Johnny and it was about taking out the risk of wind and rain. It wasn’t an easy decision but that was the main reasoning.
Elements of our game against France were compromised by the weather so we are comfortable with the decision.
Both sides like to play with width so it takes the weather out of it. Everyone talks about the game in the northern hemisphere but this will be up there with any occasion I’ve had in the southern hemisphere.
A Six Nations encounter between Ireland and Wales is always likely to bring a raucuous atmosphere. The roof being closed will ensure the noise levels are raised another notch.
Best said Ireland have a plan to handle that hurdle to communication on the pitch.
When you come here, you know it is going to be loud regardless of the roof. The atmosphere is electric, it is one of the best stadia in the world.
If you feel you are shouting in a normal game, we may have to scream tomorrow night. You have to rely on instinct as well, read each other, and we have been together a long time.
We have a plan to deal with the noise, we can adapt. Even at the Aviva, sometimes it is loud and it is hard to speak after 12 phases, instinct comes in and communication goes out the window.
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