Ireland well off the pace as Grand Slam champions Wales run riot

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"For us, I think, the last time it was closed, we arrived there and there was a lot said about making it good for spectators", he said.

"I am proud of the players it is not about me it is about the players they were playing for themselves their families and Wales", said Gatland.

Wales climbed above Ireland to hold second spot in rugby's official world rankings, and they will head to the World Cup in Japan later this year - Gatland's swansong - as major title contenders.

Defensively and offensively, Wales are in great condition, fitness-wise they look incredibly strong and they are very hard to beat.

"They deserve it. This group of players will run through a brick wall for you", he said.

The WRU confirmed on Friday morning that the request had been made by Ireland at 2pm on Thursday, before Joe Schmidt's press conference when he suggested Wales had spoken to tournament bosses about closing the roof due to the forecasted weather conditions brought by Storm Hannah. Gatland added: "It's nice when predictions come true, isn't it?" "Our discipline doesn't usually let us down, it allowed them to get a distance ahead of us, they scored after a couple of minutes and you're always under a little bit of pressure and we didn't respond overly well to that pressure giving up those penalties".

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"It was a great performance today". Creating history and winning Grand Slams are things nobody can ever take away from you.

"All I do is try to get the preparation right and the best preparation for top-class players is to be in pressure cooker situations and to try and work their way through them". That has a significant impact in those small percentages. I will miss the atmosphere of a full house, coming in on the bus, the fans and the celebrations afterwards.

A victory would ensure a Grand Slam triumph for Wales, while Ireland could only retain their Six Nations crown if they win and Scotland defeat England at Twickenham.

"The fact we've won three of the previous five makes it less than it should be".

Asked about the roof situation, Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones said: "We know, as players, that it's going to be open".

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