Wales are being given little chance of beating Ireland in Dublin on the opening day of the 2022 Six Nations, despite being reigning champions.

Ireland’s outstanding autumn, which saw them beat the All Blacks and demolish Argentina and Japan, sees them head into this year’s tournament with real momentum.

Although Wales won the competition last year, coming within seconds of a Grand Slam, they are predicted to finish fourth this time around, behind France, England and the Irish.

It comes after a disappointing summer against Argentina and a mixed autumn campaign that included wins over Australia and Fiji and defeats against South Africa and New Zealand.

As for that Dublin opener on February 5, every bookmaker in the land has Ireland as odds-on favourites, with some offering odds of 1/7. A Wales victory is priced at 9/2 in various places.

The Irish margin of victory is also expected to be convincing, with a home win by 13 points or more listed at the shortest odds of 10/11 with Paddy Power.

A huge Irish win of between 26 and 30 points is deemed to be as likely as a Wales win by one to five points, with both priced at 9/1.

Wales are no strangers to being largely counted out in the run up to a Six Nations. England and Ireland are fancied more by the bookies every year, but it is France who are actually tournament favourites this year after their stunning demolition of the All Blacks in November.

Wales follow their opener against Ireland with a home match against Scotland, a trip to Twickenham and two home matches against France and Italy to finish.

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The full 2022 Six Nations fixtures and UK kick-off times

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Ireland v Wales, 2.15pm

Scotland v England, 4.45pm

Sunday, February 6, 2022

France v Italy, 3pm

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Wales v Scotland, 2.15pm

France v Ireland, 4.45pm

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Italy v England, 3pm

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Scotland v France, 2.15pm

England v Wales , 4.45pm

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Ireland v Italy, 3pm

Friday, March 11, 2022

Wales v France, 8pm

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Italy v Scotland, 2.15pm

England v Ireland, 4.45pm

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Wales v Italy, 2.15pm

Ireland v Scotland, 4.45pm

France v England, 8pm

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