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Tadhg Beirne set for his first Six Nations start against Wales

16 March 2019

Ahead of a decisive Six Nations showdown with Wales in Cardiff, Joe Schmidt has announced the Ireland team that will contest the New Zealander's final game in the competition.

Sean O'Brien slots in at openside flanker after a knock to Josh van der Flier early in the French game forced him off. Jack Conan who made a strong impact off the bench against the French once again provides back row cover on the bench.

He replaces Iain Henderson who is ruled out through injury.

Rory Best will lead the traditional eve of match Captain's Run at the Principality Stadium.

Finally Kieran Marmion reclaims his spot as back up to Conor Murray at scrum-half.

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

"He would have liked to have had a bit more game time leading into it and it's one of those things that you'd love to go two weeks in a row with the same team".

"If it was me, I would be concentrating on playing Scotland". He's played pretty often against the second rows. I've got no comment on Eddie Jones talking about us.

Wales will be unchanged as Head coach Warren Gatland has stuck with the same match-day squad which beat Scotland for their clash in Cardiff.

England's head coach Eddie Jones has attempted to undermine Wales' Grand Slam attempt by declaring they must face Ireland while suffering from fatigue.

Ireland - 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Cian Healy.

Tadhg Beirne set for his first Six Nations start against Wales