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Six Nations 2019: Ireland will show up in Japan - Schmidt

17 March 2019

Jones - winning his 125th cap - said it was reward for hard work crowned with a performance that made last year's Six Nations Grand Slam winners look very ordinary.

And the team gave coach Warren Gatland, who will step down after the Rugby World Cup later this year, a ideal Six Nations sendoff.

"We fought our way up to third, we're in the top half of the championship and we haven't been catastrophic but we haven't been as good as we needed to be and today was probably an example of that". "At the end of the day, the pitch and conditions are the same for both teams".

"We're trying to build those two guys forward".

"So they've said to the Six Nations directly, 'can it be closed?"' He's stepping down after the Rugby World Cup later this year, when he hopes to collect the biggest trophy yet. Whether it bears fruit at the other end of this season, we'll see.

"They're a hard-working and skilful bunch who will take this on the chin. They've had so many days in the team when they've been the hub upon which the wheel has turned and the wheel has generally gone forward".

Wales will win the Six Nations title and claim a first Grand Slam since 2012 if they beat Ireland.

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"Our discipline which usually doesn't let us down it allowed them to get the distance ahead of us".

Ireland received the final say on the roof but Schmidt refused to be drawn on the subject earlier this week, simply insisting his team would cope one way or another.

"They scored after a couple of minutes and you're always under a little pressure and we didn't respond overly well to that pressure, giving up penalties".

Ireland will play two World Cup warm-up matches against Wales as part of their tournament preparations, which will also feature matches against Italy and England.

"For us, I think, the last time it was closed, we arrived there and there was a lot said about making it good for spectators", he said.

The only way that the roof could now be closed would be at the discretion of the referee.

Six Nations 2019: Ireland will show up in Japan - Schmidt