Five Changes To Ireland Team For Wales Game

Five Changes To Ireland Team For Wales Game”

Andrew Porter has been tasked with filling Furlong's sizeable shoes at tighthead while James Ryan is fit again to deputise for Henderson in the second row alongside Leinster team-mate Devin Toner. The other changes from the Italy game include the returns of Cian Healy and CJ Stander to the starting XV and Chris Farrell coming in for the injured Robbie Henshaw.

Dan Biggar returns from injury and starts at fly-half, with Liam Williams and Leigh Halfpenny also back after missing the England match. Jack Conan, who was forced off at half-time with a shoulder injury, fends off competition from Jordi Murphy for a place on the bench.

Replacements: Cronin, McGrath, John Ryan, Roux, Conan, Marmion, Carbery, McFadden.

Replacements: Dee, Jones, Francis, Davies, Tipuric, Davies, Anscombe, North.

WALES endured a hard loss to England two weeks ago, after a try was controversially disallowed, but remain in the hunt to win the Six Nations for the first time since 2013.

"Iain (Henderson) was definitely the closer of the two".

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"I was still impressed with England against Wales, but I think everyone wants to see them throwing the ball around a bit more and produce the sort of performance which they haven't really had since the Australia tour Down Under".

WHILE CONCEDING THE loss of three Lions for such a pivotal game is from far ideal, Joe Schmidt says Saturday's clash with Wales is an ideal opportunity for him to thoroughly test the depth of his squad.

With neither fit to play this Saturday due to hamstring injuries, Schmidt is forced into three changes and has chose to give both Leinster prop Andrew Porter and Munster centre Chris Farrell their first Six Nations starts, while Henderson's absence is alleviated by the return of lock James Ryan after he recovered from the groin injury that kept him out of the 56-19 win over Italy.

"Who we do have is Andrew Porter who is a really promising young player that we're excited about, and James Ryan likewise".

"But we have a very good record in Dublin under (coach Warren Gatland)".

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