INJURED Dragons captain Cory Hill will play a pivotal role in Wales' bid for a Grand Slam after being kept in the squad to help with the faltering lineout.

Hill suffered a tournament-ending ankle injury in the process of scoring the key try in the round three win against England at Principality Stadium.

The 27-year-old is unlikely to play again this season but has stayed in Warren Gatland's squad and helped with preparations, and travelled with the team, for last weekend's win in Scotland.

Hill has now turned his attentions to the Irish lineout – an area of real strength for the champions – ahead of Saturday's showdown at Principality Stadium.

Campaign Series:

The Dragons forward called the shots against the English and will provide assistance for Alun Wyn's second row partner Adam Beard.

"We have been developing him as a caller," said forwards coach Robin McBryde. "You give him the support to go out there and make those decisions. He's grown massively.

"We have kept Cory Hill with the group and he is doing a bit of mentoring with regards to developing Adam in that role.

"That speaks volumes for Cory as an individual - it's just great to have him around the squad."

Ireland possess one of the finest lineout stealers in the game in the shape of Lions back row forward Peter O'Mahony.

That will put the heat on Beard and hooker Ken Owens, with McBryde acknowledging work is needed after a hit-and-miss campaign.

"Ireland will test our lineout - they always do! It's maybe not our strongest suit at the moment but I don't think we are far off," he said.

"When you get an opportunity like we did against Scotland just before half-time and don't get it quite get it right it's a bit more glaring than if you have six or seven chances and you miss one of them.

"So we have just got to make sure, when we do have those opportunities, we are clinical enough to take them.

"Ireland are very good set piece and we know they are going to be challenging, Peter O'Mahony is very astute at getting up in the air and he's a bit of athlete."

Campaign Series:

McBryde says full-back Liam Williams is "moving in the right direction" after being replaced in the second half at Murrayfield after a blow to his right shoulder.

"He is improving," said McBryde about the Saracens back. "His return to training is gradual and there has been no contact and we will gradually increase that to see how he is but everything is moving in the right direction at the moment.

"He is playing so well at the moment. He is solid under the high ball and playing at his best."

The forwards coach believes Wales will have to beat the best team in the world if they are to win a Grand Slam.

Ireland, who travel with hopes of retaining their title, sit second in the world rankings behind New Zealand but beat the All Blacks in the autumn.

"We know it will be a big test for us. We have put ourselves in a great position and it's a chance in a lifetime for some of these boys and that is not lost on anybody," he said.

"We're facing arguably the best side in world rugby to do that. It would be no mean feat in the Six Nations and games can be decided on small margins and decisions.

"We have done exceptionally well to put us in this position but it won't mean anything if we don't finish the job."