FRIDAY NIGHT UNDER the lights in Cardiff; it has all the ingredients to be a Six Nations classic and Rory Best believes Ireland will rise to the occasion tomorrow night.

Best during today’s captain’s run in Cardiff. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

A raucous atmosphere awaits at the Principality Stadium for a defining game in Ireland’s campaign; win and a mouthwatering championship decider against England in Dublin is in store. Lose and all those hopes get left behind this weekend.

The closed roof, the late kick off and a Welsh side hurting from defeat to Scotland last time out. Ireland know they’ll need to come out of the blocks quickly, and Best says the players are in a good place.

“We feel we’ve prepared very well and we’re in a good place,” the Ireland captain said at today’s pre-match press conference.

“When you come to Six Nations games and the last two weekends, there’s pressure on all sides and we know there’s pressure on us to keep that run of two wins going.

“We understand that if we don’t win, obviously the championship is dead for us, but at the same time we know that and the pressure that we feel on ourselves is what we put on each other and on ourselves.”

Ireland’s record in Cardiff is good having come away victorious in five of the last eight Six Nations visits to the Welsh capital.

“When you come here and you’re playing Wales, you now it’s going to be loud – regardless of the roof being open or closed. It’s going to be really, really loud,” Best continued.

“From an international point of view, it’s one of the best stadiums in the world to play in because the atmosphere is just electric. I’m sure on a Friday night it’s going to be as good if not better than anything we’ve experienced.

Best speaking at today’s press conference. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“For that, you’ve got to be prepared to know that if you feel like you’re shouting at team-mates in a normal game, you’re going to have to really scream at each other here because it’s going to be really hard to hear each other.

“At the same time, it’s a group that’s been together for a really long time, so you have to rely on a little bit of instinct, a little bit of reading each other, a little bit of knowing that with players and the mentality they have, knowing they’ll rise to a really tough occasion.”

And what an occasion it promises to be.