Warren Gatland and Joe Schmidt both in search of Six Nations happy ending | Paul Rees

The Wales coach will be wary of a ruthless Ireland side and the tactical nous of his fellow New Zealander

Warren Gatland once reflected on Wales’s capacity to sabotage the future by focusing on the past. “They prefer to regurgitate the Chateaubriand of the 1970s rather than sample the fish head soup of the 1990s,” he said. “Reality has hit home but, 20 years on, they still cannot face it.”

He was speaking on the eve of a grand slam match – in 1999 when England came to Wembley and were mugged by Scott Gibbs and Neil Jenkins. Gatland was Ireland’s head coach then but, 20 years on, he presides over his 50th and final Six Nations match with Wales having injected the country with an invigorating dose of reality.

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