Ireland team named for Wales clash

Tanya Simon
March 16, 2019

Tadhg Beirne makes his first Six Nations start for Ireland in the clash with Grand Slam-chasing Wales on Saturday, which will see him face several of his former Scarlets team-mates.

Beirne will be partnered in the second row by James Ryan, with Quin Roux on the bench as a replacement.

Beirne comes into the team for Ulster's Iain Henderson, while there are also returns for Sean O'Brien and Rob Kearney. Cian Healy 2. Rory Best 3. Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray will form Ireland's first-choice half-back partnership.

Kearney has overcome a calf injury to take position at full-back pushing Jordan Larmour to the bench.

Schmidt admitted he would have preferred not to have to throw Beirne in straight away.

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Jones said on Thursday that Wales were "starting to look a bit tired" after making "more tackles than anyone else in the tournament", and were facing an Ireland side "that seems to be peaking at the right time". We've worked in the (Six Nations) down weeks and we've trained as hard as any team I have seen. 'If it was me, I'd be concentrating on playing Scotland. He will know his fellow Scarlets teammates very well.

"With that combination I do think he's as ready as we can get him to be at this stage. And I know he's incredibly motivated to be as ready as he can be".

The Ireland Under 20's can claim Grand Slam glory this evening.

It will be his final match in charge of Wales in the competition, with the New Zealander stepping down after this year's World Cup.

Munster duo Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne plus Andrew Porter cover the front row off the bench, with Ultan Dillane and Conan the other forward replacements.

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