Dan Biggar and Liam Williams return to start for Wales against Ireland

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Gatland knows all about the threat posed by the half-back pairing, who were in his starting line-up for two of the three British and Irish Lions Tests in New Zealand past year.

When asked how he plans to stop the pair, Gatland says there is only one way to ensure that the dynamic duo have a quiet afternoon in Dublin. Our line-speed defensively has got to be good. We have got to put Conor and his kicking game under pressure - we have to be prepared to be pretty physical against them.

"It is the first week we have had everyone in the 'green" in terms of availability which is a nice luxury to have and a positive ahead of what is a very important test match against a very good Ireland side. It's a huge credit to him and we've always got on well and had that mutual respect even before the Lions tour. "Ireland have got an excellent kicking game and their half-back combination is one of the best in world rugby".

"We have some big names coming back into the squad so hopefully they can add a bit of experience".

Gatland clearly rejects the notion that this year's championship is slowly-but-surely heading towards a St Patrick's Day Ireland-England showdown for the title and is confident that his team can cause what would be considered an upset in Dublin this weekend.

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"No", Gatland retorted when hearing that the journalist thinks Ireland have been most impressive.

Both sides have beaten Italy already in the competition, while Eddie Jones' men have got the better of Wales and Ireland were victorious in France. "You have got to have a good running, attacking game against Ireland but also a good kicking game".

"We know plenty about them". Our discipline has been excellent in the first two games - we only gave away two penalties against England. They play through lots of phases, but we've conceded the least points in the competition so far. When we have been in tough situations, he knows how to get that extra couple of per cent out of you. The way Ireland defend, they're pretty narrow and they're hard to break down.

Both Patchell and Adams drop out of the matchday 23, while Northampton wing George North is retained on the bench with Gatland opting for a back-three of Halfpenny, Williams and Steff Evans.