SATURDAY 31 AUGUST

World Cup warm-up fixture

Wales v Ireland, Principality Stadium, 2.30pm

Online 

Live blog on RTÉ.ie and on the RTÉ News Now app from 2pm.

Radio 

Live commentary on Saturday Sport, RTÉ Radio 1 from Michael Corcoran and David Humphreys.

TV

Live on Channel 4 from 2pm.

WEATHER 

Saturday will be a bright and breezy day with sunshine and showers, some heavy and a few possibly thundery over the northern half of the country. Highest temperatures of 14 to 17 degrees in moderate, occasionally fresh west to northwest winds.

Coaches' View

Joe Schmidt: "We've had a little bit more time to prepare and it's a different team. They are not recovering so much from Saturday, other than probably mentally for a few of them who are backing up.

"It's more about we've had more time, we've had a few good training sessions this week, we trained well this morning and that gives us more confidence that we will be very much a step ahead of where we were last week."

Warren Gatland: "There are a lot of doubts in the (Ireland) coaches' minds about who their best players are - some of their players are getting a bit older - is it a time to put some of the youngsters in?

"It's a massive game for Ireland that will answer a lot of questions.

"That's why I'm excited. It is a challenge for us. This is professional sport, and we can put a massive dent in their confidence and derail them a little bit."

Jack Carty and Bundee Aki have both been named to start for Ireland

Team News

Ireland: Will Addison; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Iain Henderson, James Ryan; Tadhg Beirne, Peter O'Mahony (capt), Jack Conan. 

Replacements: Rory Best, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, Jordi Murphy, Luke McGrath, Garry Ringrose, Dave Kearney. 

Wales: Hallam Amos; Owen Lane, Scott Williams, Owen Watkin, Steff Evans; Jarrod Evans, Aled Davies; Rhys Carre, Ryan Elias, Samson Lee, Adam Beard, Bradley Davies, Aaron Shingler, James Davies, Josh Navidi.

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Rob Evans, Leon Brown, Jake Ball, Ross Moriarty, Tomos Williams, Rhys Patchell, Jonah Holmes.

'Malaise' abounds as ghost of 2007 Rugby World Cup campaign enters fray

Ireland under intense pressure to produce a response

Ireland's victory over Italy in their opening World Cup warm-up game was described by Eddie O'Sullivan as an "absolutely abysmal" performance.

Joe Schmidt's side had just dispatched the Azzurri by 19 points in the Aviva Stadium to kick-start their preparations for their trip to Japan. The welfare of Joey Carbery appeared to be the key discussion point in the aftermath, the Munster out-half making a worrying exit from the game with an ankle injury. 

His availability for the World Cup looked under threat, but it was Ireland's meagre display that evoked the strongest emotion in O'Sullivan. 

"Nobody stood out there," the former Ireland head coach said on RTÉ's coverage of the game. "I think some fellas have played themselves off the plane, certainly not on it. Italy are a poor team and they got worse as the game went on, and we went down with them."

It's worth noting that O'Sullivan prefaced all that by saying "you don't want to be too harsh" before offering up his critical analysis of Ireland's display.

And if that was considered to be a poor starting point for Ireland's World Cup warm-up campaign, things were about to get worse in their second outing at Twickenham.

Dejected Ireland players after a heavy defeat to England

Measuring up to England would have been a fitting way to regain some momentum and rediscovering a bit of form. Instead, Schmidt's charges shipped a 57-15 hammering - a record-breaking defeat to England.

Ireland were competitive for most of the first half but were trailing by 12 points at the break. One try was all they could muster in the second half.

Eddie Jones' side picked holes at will in the Irish line and stormed through for eight tries on the way to conquering their opponents.

Those two unconvincing performances, allied with Ireland's abject Six Nations campaign, leaves them desperately needing a win against Wales to revive confidence.

To his credit, Schmidt's actions this week show his willingness to confront that reality.

He faced the media earlier than usual by presenting himself before the microphones on Tuesday at Carton House. And the 11 changes he has made to the team suggests he's still studying his options before finalising his 31-man squad for the tournament in Japan.

After Saturday's run-out, Wales will travel to Dublin next weekend for Ireland's final warm-up exercise.

Time is running out for Schmidt's men to get their campaign back on track.