Six Nations 2015: Robin McBryde expects battle with Ireland

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Wales v Ireland - the rivalry
Six Nations 2015: Wales v Ireland
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff Date: 14 March, 2015 Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC One, HD, Red Button, S4C, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, Radio 5 live, 5 live sports extra, online, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde expects an attritional battle against Ireland in the Six Nations showdown.

Unbeaten Ireland are aiming to complete the fourth leg of a potential Grand Slam while a win for Wales would keep alive their title ambitions.

The game's importance means McBryde does not foresee a thrilling encounter.

"Teams are wearing each other down and unfortunately sometimes the spectators have got to pay a price for that," said McBryde.

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Six Nations 2015: Ask the Wales players, part one

"They [Ireland] won't worry about attractive rugby, that will come second... that's the nature of the game.

"There's a lot at stake. Ireland are on course for a Grand Slam and to get away from Cardiff with a win is all they'll be looking to do."

The nature of this season's tournament has attracted criticism, with All Blacks coach Steve Hansen revealing he is concerned it could be a turn-off for spectators.

But while McBryde emphasised Wales players are encouraged to make the most of chances that present themselves in open play, he admitted more prosaic aspects of the game will hold the key to success.

"If it's on, it's on," added McBryde, who played under Hansen when the New Zealander was Wales coach.

Wales v Ireland defeats

"The players have always been given the licence to play what's in front of them and we'll be disappointed if we don't take those opportunities when they are on offer.

"But listen, the old adage is 'it's won and lost up front' and that's going to be the case again.

"A keenly contested set-piece, contact area and aerial battle; that is what it is going to come down to - who comes out on top in those areas."

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O'Connell proud of Irish landmark

Ireland have beaten Italy, France and England in the tournament, while Wales have recovered from an opening-weekend loss to England by beating Scotland and France away.

Wales have named an unchanged starting XV for the first time in this tournament, while Ireland have number eight Jamie Heaslip back in their side and fly-half Johnny Sexton has overcome a hamstring injury.

The former Scarlets and Wales hooker claims the visitors will start as favourites after a record-equalling 10 consecutive victories.

"They're on a roll," he said.

"They've won 10 on the bounce and that speaks volumes - from the outside it looks a very happy camp and they're up to third in the world rankings.

"This is a formidable Ireland team and we're going to have to be at our best to come close to them."

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