Ireland will top the world rankings ahead of the Rugby World Cup after a 19-10 win over Wales in Dublin.
It wasn't all good news though and they will sweat a possible knee injury for wing Keith Earls, amid a confidence-boosting victory where Rob Kearney, Tadhg Furlong and James Ryan all bagged tries.
Head coach Joe Schmidt and captain Rory Best will relinquish their roles after the World Cup, and both claimed the Aviva Stadium sign-off they so craved.
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Hello and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of Ireland vs Wales at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
It is the final World Cup warm-up for both sides, with Wales looking for revenge after the Irish toppled their Cardiff castle last weekend.
Both teams confirmed their squads of 31 to go to the World Cup this week, with Ireland omitting towering lock Devin Toner.
Here's a reminder of the players Joe Schmidt will be taking to Japan:
Meanwhile Wales left out a pair of experienced props, loosehead Rob Evans particularly suprisingly not selected, along with tighthead Samson Lee.
Rhys Patchell's strong showing from the bench last week secured his place as Dan Biggar's fly-half deputy. Warren Gatland's 31-man squad:
Team News - Ireland
To today's affairs, then, with kick-off less than an hour away.
Ireland's headline team news is the return of Johnny Sexton at fly-half. Sexton has not yet seen any action in these warm-up fixtures as Joe Schmidt protects his key playmaker.
Elsewhere Jordan Larmour gets another opportuinty to find his footing on the wing, while CJ Stander is shifted to the blindside with Jack Conan continuing at number eight. Rory Best captains the side on home soil for the last time.
Team News - Wales
Warren Gatland is treating this fixture as a dress rehearsal of sorts, and has selected a 23 that appears to resemble a first-choice Wales side rather closely.
Rhys Patchell starts at ten in tandem with Tomos Williams in the halves, with Dan Biggar and Gareth Davies held in reserve. Leigh Halfpenny plays just his second international game this year, while Elliot Dee gets a chance at hooker.
Alun Wyn Jones captains the side from the second row.
"For Wales, the allure of Rugby World Cup glory hangs heavy in the air. An expectant nation with a history of underachievement and disappointment on rugby’s grandest stage, this year’s tournament comes amid heightened hope of a first title."
Samuel Lovett was in Cardiff last weekend:
Talking of Samuel Lovett, he appears on The Independent's latest audio offering - The Indy Rugby Podcast: Japan 2019!
Yes, Sam and Jack de Menezes will be bringing you all the latest news, analysis and rugby chit-chat that you could possible hope to consume throughout the World Cup, and their big preview of the tournament is available for your aural pleasure RIGHT NOW on your preferred podcasting platform, or via this link:
So what will both teams be looking for today?
Well, first things first, an afternoon unblemished by injury would suit, you'd feel, with both sides particularly keen to protect some of their key players, and we might see an early substitution or two to ensure there are no costly bumps and prangs that could all-but-end their World Cup hopes before it has even began.
Secondly, while any more forward-thinking tactics will likely be held back and unfurled in Japan, this game will offer opportunity to build cohesion, letting combinations settle in and building chemistry.
Finally, both sides have spots in the starting lineup up for grabs, and there are a number in each 15 who will be looking to present their cases for inclusion. Ireland seem to have set up a shootout for the 12 jumper in their midfield, with Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw likely competing for one spot alongside Garry Ringrose in Japan. We could see the pair rotate between inside and outside centre today.
Rhys Patchell and Tomos Williams changed the game from the bench last weekend, though aided by a fatiguing Ireland who eased off the gas pedal.
Paired in the halves from the start today, it will be interesting to see how they go. Patchell has already won his battle for the back-up ten spot with Jarrod Evans not on the plane to Japan, but Williams still has to see off the challenge of Aled Davies (who had a bit of a shocker last weekend) to be primary scrum-half reserve.
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