CJ Stander believes Six Nations debutant Tadhg Beirne is ready to stake his claim for a regular starting spot in the Ireland team.

The ex-Scarlets forward comes in for his first taste of competitive action tomorrow against Wales having won four caps since making his debut in Australia last summer.

A knee injury scuppered his chances in the early stages of this Six Nations campaign and the same issue for Iain Henderson has opened up the door for the 27-year-old to impress boss Joe Schmidt in the last competitive game before the World Cup.

Stander, who returned against France following a facial injury suffered during the opening match against England, says that it's not just a matter of the stand-ins getting game time, more so it's a chance to nail down a place.

"Everyone knows that the jersey is there for you if you can make a difference," Stander told RTE Sport.

"Tadhg is someone who works really hard during the game, he gets some turnovers that you really can't expect anyone to get and he's good in the lineout and he's a good athlete as well.

"He's someone that brings something different at lock, he's almost an extra loose forward. A taller loose forward running around so he makes the job easier for us small guys.

"He got his chance against Australia so he knows what's expected of him, he's trained well and he's someone who fits in easy with the group."

Meanwhile, the South African-born forward, who made his Ireland debut against Wales four years ago, says he doesn't believe the line being peddled about by some pundits in the media that tomorrow's game at the Principality Stadium is more important for Grand Slam-chasing Wales than in is for Ireland.

The reigning champions put some of the concerns around the team to rest with a more typical performance during the win over France last Sunday.

"Winning the Grand Slam is a big driver for them and for us finishing on a high is a big drive, and we still have a chance"

"There's a lot riding in this game for both teams," said the 28-year-old.

"We want to finish well and they want to win the Grand Slam. It will come down to who performs best on the day.

"Winning the Grand Slam is a big driver for them and for us finishing on a high is a big drive, and we still have a chance.

"Their defence has been unreal in this championship, that's what's helped them secure a few games. They get up well as a team and put pressure on the first receiver. That's going to be another key battle."

Asked how he rated his own performance in Dublin last week, the back rower said he was happy enough.

"I think I did some good things and some bad things. It happened a few times now at Munster that I moved to openside.

"I enjoy that. I think I had a few good carries, good defence and it was good to get back into that jersey and enjoy it."

Follow Wales v Ireland on Saturday (kick-off 2.45pm) via the live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sport and the News Now App, or listen live on RTÉ 2fm, with commentary from Michael Corcoran and Donal Lenihan.