Tommy Bowe believes Ireland's Six Nations fixture against Wales will devolve into a battle between their respective back rows.

The former Ireland and Ulster wing, who also spent part of his club career in Wales with Ospreys between 2008 and 2012, joined RTÉ 2FM's Game On to preview the match which will kick off at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

While Bowe believes Wales will bring an element of unpredictability under new head coach Wayne Pivac, he does see the back row battle being pivotal.

"He's got them playing a different type of rugby looking back at last weekend," Bowe said of Pivac.

"It was hard to tell much from that though, playing against Italy. 

"I would imagine Italy are going to struggle against every team this year. 

"So it's going to be a difficult task. Everybody is expecting Wales to be really impressive coming over to Dublin.

"You would have to think that they're going to give Ireland a real battle and it's going to be the battles of the back rows."

He cited the 2019 fixture in Cardiff as an example of how the Welsh may look to utilise their back row effectively.

Wales overpowered Ireland in the 2019 fixture

"The Welsh back row and pack were just all over Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton that day and they just had a field day," said Bowe.

"And you could just see the [Irish] guys shrinking into their jerseys. So it's a big opportunity for Conor and Johnny to lay a marker tomorrow.

"It's going to be a great battle and it's going to be a hard one to call. I was disappointed with how Ireland played last weekend and I was disappointed with how Scotland finished because how many opportunities did they need!

"Only for the likes of Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander coming up with some big turnovers at key times, [Scotland] should have won that game comfortably."

But he added that he believes Ireland will "get the job done" against Wales and that the effects of the inclement weather may end up suiting Andy Farrell's team.

Follow Ireland v Wales (kick-off 2.15pm) on Saturday via our live blog on and the News Now app or listen live on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport. Highlights on Against the Head, Monday at 8pm on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.