Double deflation for Wales if they lose to Ireland and blow Grand Slam

The Highlanders are on a 15-game Super Rugby unbeaten run at home, the Crusaders are coming off 19 wins in a row stretching back to last season. As Jack Nicholson might say, something’s gotta give in Dunedin Saturday night.

We lost in the deep south last year in the roofed stadium where Ireland played Italy in the 2011 World Cup. Sam Whitelock is back in the second row tomorrow for the Crusaders, which is a big boost, and Kieran Read is probably 2-3 weeks away as the All Blacks get fed slowly back into the provincial system. Kieran trained today (Thursday) and he’s flying it.

We stay in Dunedin Saturday night and while breakfast for the group is slated for 7.30am Sunday, there’s two of us who’ll be up a bit earlier. Jon Gardner is the Crusaders’ Head Performance analyst, and we’ve booked a 4am room service breakfast. One small detail: Jon’s as proud a Welsh man as you’ll find, a really good guy who is unbelievably psyched at the prospect of a Welsh Grand Slam.

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