Wales coach Warren Gatland has leapt to the defence of centre partnership Jamie Roberts and James Hook ahead of this weekend's match against Ireland.
Roberts and Hook have come in for criticism from some quarters as Wales have struggled to stamp their mark on this season's RBS 6 Nations championship.
The duo will continue to fill the No.12 and No.13 jerseys respectively for the clash with the reigning Grand Slam champions at Croke Park – and Gatland is backing them to step up to the mark.
“They are still a young combination,” said the former Ireland coach. “Potentially, that centre partnership is really exciting for us, particularly in terms of creating opportunities.
“There has been criticism of Jamie at times because people see him as just bish-bosh.
“But he’s been one of the big line-breakers in this tournament. He has not had much recognition for that.
“It’s going to be a real test for our two centres. Hopefully James is also going to rise to the challenge.”