EPCR Player of the Year nominees Caelan Doris and Josh van der Flier scored tries as Ireland thrashed Wales 34-10 in the opening Six Nations game in Cardiff on Saturday.
Heineken Champions Cup Pool A winners Leinster Rugby provided all of Ireland’s points-scorers, with No.8 Doris touching down, before lock James Ryan and wing James Lowe followed him over the try line in an impressive first-half blitz.
Flanker Van der Flier, the leading try-scorer in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup and reigning EPCR Player of the Year, then went over to seal the bonus point.
Which #EPOTY2023 nominee will shine brightest on the #SixNations stage this weekend? 🤩
There's 7️⃣ in action this weekend, but 1️⃣5️⃣ to chose from in our EPCR Player of the Year vote ➡️ https://t.co/98en54jQCn#HeinekenChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/4OnYia7gYy
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) February 3, 2023
Fly-half Johnny Sexton added 12 points from the kicking tee in the first half, before his replacement, Ross Byrne, converted Van der Flier’s effort.
Ospreys flanker Justin Tipiruc, another EPCR Player of the Year nominee, was unable to stem the tide for Wales as they fell to a resounding defeat in Warren Gatland’s first game back as head coach.