Wales vs. Ireland live score, highlights and commentary as 2023 Six Nations gets underway in Cardiff

Wales and Ireland kick off the 2023 Six Nations at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, with both sides looking to get their respective campaigns in this World Cup year off to a winning start. 

The same opening weekend fixture in the 2022 edition saw current world number-one side Ireland put Wales to the sword, recording a 29-7 victory.

Ireland went on to finish second to France, before beating the All Blacks in New Zealand for the first time in their history. Autumn wins over South Africa and Australia followed, with Andy Farrell’s men finishing 2022 as the world’s top-ranked side.

By contrast, Wales fell into a downward spiral that ultimately cost coach Wayne Pivac his job. They only won one game in the Six Nations, against Scotland, and suffered a last-minute loss to Italy, before a summer tour defeat to South Africa. Wales’ autumn proved to be make-or-break for Pivac, with losses to New Zealand, Georgia and Australia costing him his job.

In Pivac’s place comes Warren Gatland, who held the reins of Wales between 2007 and 2019. Back in the fold, the four-time Six Nations winner now has the task of reversing Wales’ wretched run of form, and preparing them for the Rugby World Cup at this year’s end.

The Sporting News are following the match live, providing live updates and commentary below.

Wales vs. Ireland live score

  1H 2H FT
Wales 0    
Ireland 0    




Wales vs. Ireland live commentary, highlights

15 mins from kick-off: With late changes ready to go, the stadium filling up, and “new” Wales coach Warren Gatland taking a familiar seat in the coaches’ box, the stage is set at the Principality for the start of this year’s Six Nations!

30 mins from kick-off: Both teams have been forced into late changes, with Wales’ Leigh Halfpenny and Ireland prop Tadhg Furlong both withdrawing in the last two days. Things have exacerbated since for the visitors though, with Jamison Gibson-Park and Cian Healy both pulling out in the hours leading up to kick-off. Conor Murray replaces Gibson-Park at scrum-half, with Dave Kilcoyne and Craig Casey coming onto the bench.

45 mins from kick-off: The two sides’ autumn tests couldn’t have been more different either. Wales beat Argentina, but suffered a heavy loss to New Zealand and a second-half collapse against Australia, either side of being the victims of Georgia’s first victory over a Tier 1 nation. Ireland defeated South Africa, Fiji and Australia in contrast, finishing the year as the leading side in World Rugby’s rankings.

☘️ The test that awaits against Ireland…#WelshRugby | #GuinnessSixNations

— Welsh Rugby Union 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 (@WelshRugbyUnion) January 31, 2023

60 mins from kick-off: Ireland have had no such slump in form though, losing just two games throughout 2022, picking recording some significant victories along the way. After being pipped to the Six Nations title by France, Andy Farrell’s side headed to the Southern Hemisphere, and twice beat the All Blacks to win their first-ever test series in New Zealand.

75 mins from kick-off: Today, Wales will get the second Warren Gatland era underway, after the New Zealander returned to the head coach position following the sacking of Wayne Pivac. Fellow Kiwi Pivac had overseen a Six Nationals title win in 2021, but Wales’ 2022 form, including losses to Italy and Georgia as well as a series defeat in South Africa, saw him leave his post a year out from the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

90 mins from kick-off: Hello, and welcome to the 2023 Six Nations! It’s the first day of “Rugby’s Greatest Championship”, which gets underway with a clash between Wales and Ireland at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff.

ROG loved a match-winning drop goal in Cardiff! 😍#TeamOfUs | #GuinnessSixNations

— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 2, 2023

MORE: How France won the 2022 Six Nations

Wales vs Ireland confirmed lineups

The second Gatland era sees several experienced players return to the fold, with a sprinkling of promising youngsters brought into the side. Eighty-six-cap hooker Ken Owens has been appointed as the side’s new captain, while Alun Wyn Jones, George North and Dan Biggar all start, each adding to over 100 caps respectively.

It’s been far from plain sailing in the build-up to this game though, with Scarlets full-back Leigh Halfpenny being a late withdrawal from the side. Liam Williams will replace him at the back for Wales, and joining him is exciting centre Joe Hawkins, who impressed on debut against Australia and will be looking to lay down a marker in making Wales’ No. 12 shirt his own.

Wales starting XV: Liam Williams, Josh Adams, George North, Joe Hawkins, Rio Dyer, Dan Biggar, Tomos Williams; Gareth Thomas, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Jac Morgan, Justin Tipuric, Taulupe Faletau

Wales replacements: Scott Baldwin, Rhys Carre, Dillon Lewis, Dafydd Jenkins, Tommy Reffell, Rhys Webb, Owen Williams, Alex Cuthbert

🏉 A #GuinnessSixNations debut on the cards for @WelshRugbyUnion‘s @JoeHawkins121 this weekend 🙌#U20SixNations | @ospreys

— Six Nations Under-20s (@SixNationsU20) January 31, 2023

Ireland’s fast first-half start to this fixture in 2022 saw centres Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose both cross within 10 minutes of each half. For this year’s match, Stuart McCloskey will play at inside centre instead, pushing Aki to the bench. Mack Hansen, who won man of the match on his Ireland debut in the reverse fixture, also features in the backline, which will be directed around the field by Conor Murray and the ever-dependable Johnny Sexton.

Our first line up of 2023! 🟢#TeamOfUs | #GuinnessSixNations

— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 2, 2023

Ireland too have had to make late changes, with the world’s best tighthead prop, Tadhg Furlong, forced out by injury. Finlay Bealham replaces him up front, with Furlong’s namesake and fellow World XV of the year occupant Tadhg Beirne packing down in the second row. He’ll do so alongside James Ryan, while current World Rugby Player of the Year Josh van der Flier is on the openside flank.

A first Six Nations start for Fin! 🙌#TeamOfUs | #GuinnessSixNations

— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) February 2, 2023

Ireland starting XV: Hugo Keenan, Mack Hansen, Garry Ringrose, Stuart McCloskey, James Lowe, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris

Ireland replacements: Rob Herring, Dave Kilcoyne, Tom O’Toole, Iain Henderson, Jack Conan, Craig Casey, Ross Byrne, Bundee Aki

MORE: How to play the Six Nations Fantasy Rugby Game

Wales vs Ireland live stream, TV channel

Here is how to watch the match in some of the major territories:

  TV channel Streaming
USA fuboTV, Peacock, CNBC


UK BBC One BBC iPlayer
Australia Stan Sport
New Zealand Sky Sport NOW
India Premier Sports Asia
Hong Kong Premier Sports Asia
Malaysia Premier Sports Asia
Singapore Premier Sports Asia

USA: All games are streaming live on Peacock and will also be available through fuboTV. However, they will also be repeated on CNBC on delay, usually by a couple of hours. 

Canada: All games are streaming live on DAZN.

UK: Matches will be shown on BBC and ITV, with S4C also broadcasting in Wales.

Australia: Six Nations coverage is provided by Stan Sport.

India: Premier Sports Asia is the main place to watch the Six Nations.

MORE: A history of the Six Nations, ‘Rugby’s Greatest Championship

Wales vs Ireland odds

It’s looking like a tall order for Wales to get anything out of this game, according to the bookmakers. Sky Bet and BetMGM have Wales at 9/4 and 21/10 respectively to win in Cardiff, with Sports Interaction and Ladbrokes both offering longer odds for the hosts to defeat Ireland. An Irish victory has much shorter odds amongst the bookies.

(Sky Bet)

 (Sports Interaction)

Australia (Neds)
Wales Win 9/4 +210 3.05 3.10
Draw 20/1 +2000 21.0
Ireland Win 2/5 -275 1.36 1.36


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