Both teams are looking for their first win in the Championship, although Ireland were denied the opportunity to open their account in France after their match was postponed while their contest with Wales was left on a knife edge for 80 minutes.
It eventually came down on the side of the Welsh, courtesy of Leigh Halfpenny's late penalty, to leave Ireland crestfallen for the second time in a matter of months following their quarter-final defeat.
But Brunel maintains reports of the 2009 Grand Slam winners' demise is much exaggerated despite the absence of stalwarts Brian O'Driscoll and Ronan O'Gara from the starting XV.
"No, I don't think so. It's true that maybe there are a few players we've seen for a while," said Brunel.
"We know (Paul) O'Connell and (Donncha) O'Callaghan but the back row have been playing for two or three years which means they're experienced without being very old.
"It's a team with a lot of potential, they knew how to change it bit by bit and we can see that without (Brian) O'Driscoll and (Ronan) O'Gara who plays less.
"They've brought (Jonathan) Sexton back in, they changed the scrum-half a year ago and they've modified their team while staying very competitive.
"They could have won just as easily as Wales. They're two teams who are very close but in the game it went Wales' way.
"Don't forget Wales are the Six Nations favourites and they had a great World Cup.
"We can find a few excuses for Ireland but they deserved to win as much as Wales.
"They're still a complete, strong, physically strong team and they can play in all areas.
"(They can play) up front while they have enterprising backs and Tommy Bowe who scores a lot."