Peter Stringer, the veteran Ireland scrum-half, insists his team-mates will not let the importance of the occasion get to them in Cardiff next Saturday.

Ireland stand on the cusp of history following the hard-fought win over Scotland last Saturday, with Wales the only side standing in their way of a first Grand Slam title since 1948. 

However, Ireland were in a similar position back in 2003, when they faced England at Lansdowne, but they were humbled 42-6 in a winner-takes-all encounter.

Stringer, who repaid the faith shown in him by his former school teacher Declan Kidney, the Ireland coach, with a stunning return to form against the Scots, is confident that the class of 2009 will not suffer a similar collapse.    

“There are more experienced heads going into this game, we won’t let the occasion let us get carried away,” the Cork native said. 

“In the last few weeks we’ve had good performances, we’ve had bad performances but it’s all about grinding out wins – there’s a great professionalism in this team, guys willing to work hard for each other.”

Meanwhile, Wales centre Jamie Roberts is determined to stop the Irish parading the RBS 6 Nations trophy around the Millennium Stadium.

The Welsh need to win Saturday’s showdown by 13 points or more to avoid just that scenario unfolding following their 20-15 win over Italy last Saturday.

“We do not want to see the Irish taking the trophy around the Millennium Stadium pitch,” Roberts said.

“That would be absolutely gutting,” he added.

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