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The Confirmed Ireland Team To Take On Wales In The Six Nations

The Confirmed Ireland Team To Take On Wales In The Six Nations
By Gary Reilly Updated

Get those Men In Black memory swipe gizmos out because it's time to forget the past couple of months and focus on the future, more specifically, focus on the Welsh this weekend.

Despite the fact that we're aiming to become the first team to win the Six Nations championship three times in a row, the build up has been mooted. Given the way the fixtures have fallen, no one is giving us a chance really. And with good reason, Ireland's squad is not what it was this time last year. Or at least we're not expecting it to be.

Joe Schmidt has had to contend with a raft of injuries heading into this campaign and that has showed no signs of slowing this week with Sean O'Brien and Rob Kearney both sitting out training with muscles injuries. As such, it doesn't come as much of a surprise to learn that the Leinster duo both miss out on the squad with CJ Stander and Tommy O'Donnell the starting flankers and Simon Zebo starting at full back in place of Kearney.

That means that Jared Payne slots in behind Robbie Henshaw in the centre with Stuart McCloskey missing out on the match-day squad entirely. Andrew Trimble is back on the wing, as is Keith Earls while the Mike McCarthy and Nathan White fill out some of the more disputed spots in the pack.

See also: An Even More Enjoyable Account Of Brian O'Driscoll Knocking Lumps Out Of Austin Healey

Irish starting XV to face Wales:


Backs: Simon Zebo; Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Keith Earls; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray.


Forwards: Jack McGrath, Rory Best, Nathan White; Devin Toner, Mike McCarthy; CJ Stander, Tommy O'Donnell, Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Sean Cronin, James Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Donnacha Ryan, Rhys Ruddock, Kieran Marmion, Ian Madigan, David Kearney.

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