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

Alun Wyn Jones says Wales have now put a target on their backs after clinching a deserved Six Nations Grand Slam with a 25-7 win over an ill-disciplined Ireland. AFP  Paul ELLIS

Wales saved its best for last in the worst conditions it played in.

A victory would ensure a Grand Slam triumph for Wales, while Ireland could only retain their Six Nations crown if they win and Scotland defeat England at Twickenham.

Schmidt revealed that some Irish players spent part of the week in isolation after they were hit by a stomach bug, which disrupted their preparations during a six-day turnaround before the match in Cardiff, but conceded that his team had been out-played by a Welsh side that were buoyed by their hunt for a Grand Slam title.

"So they've said to the Six Nations directly, 'can it be closed?"'

"We have self belief and character, we are not going to shy away, we have been unconvincing at times too but we have put a target on our backs".

Gatland's final Six Nations game - he leaves Wales after the World Cup later this year - saw him become the first coach in Five or Six Nations history to win three Grand Slams.

Gatland, who steps down after the World Cup later this year, still tried to suggest they could creep in to the World Cup unnoticed but fell short.

"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".

Warren Gatland became the first coach to win three Six Nations Grand Slams. AFP  Paul ELLIS
Warren Gatland became the first coach to win three Six Nations Grand Slams. AFP Paul ELLIS

"They will run through a brick wall for you and we are a tight knit group".

Gatland eulogised about Jones in answer to Davies labelling him as the best player of all time for Wales.

"He is a fantastic person and a great player".

Ireland went into the game with an outside chance of title success, but the final Six Nations game for head coach Joe Schmidt and captain Rory Best will quickly be erased from the memory.

Wales were unchanged from the side that beat Scotland at Murrayfield last weekend, while Ireland showed three switches as full-back Rob Kearney, flanker Sean O'Brien and lock Tadhg Beirne, who made his Six Nations debut, all started.

"We have to be more consistent, dust ourselves off and hope we finish strong in the World Cup".

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

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