Search icon


03rd Feb 2022

Two surprises calls as Andy Farrell names Ireland team to face Wales

Patrick McCarry

Ireland team

Robbie Henshaw misses out entirely, as does Iain Henderson.

Andy Farrell has named his Ireland team to face Wales in Saturday’s Six Nations opener, and has included the uncapped Mack Hansen in his XV.

The inclusion of the Connacht winger and the absence of Henshaw from the Irish midfield are his biggest calls. Iain Henderson may not have entirely convinced he was ready for a full 80 minutes as he is also out of the match-day squad.

Johnny Sexton will captain a strong Ireland team that contains 11 Leinster players. Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan are the second row pairing while Bundee Aki partners Garry Ringrose in midfield.

On the bench, Joey Carbery is set for his first game since his elbow break. He is joined by experienced players like Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony and Cian Healy. Ulster’s James Hume gets the 23 jersey.

Our Ireland team to face Wales

15. Hugo Keenan
14. Andrew Conway
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Bundee Aki
11. Mack Hansen*
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Andrew Porter
2. Rónan Kelleher
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Tadhg Beirne
5. James Ryan
6. Caelan Doris
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jack Conan

Subs: Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Ryan Baird, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, James Hume.

On the latest House of Rugby URC episode [LISTEN from 58:15 below] Leinster and Ireland scrumhalf Luke McGrath joined the team for a Six Nations preview, and a look at the Irish players who could shine.

Josh Adams starts outside centre for Wales

Earlier today, Wales head coach Wayne Pivac named his match-day squad for Saturday’s game.

The big call is Josh Adams starting at outside centre, alongside Saracens’ Nick Tompkins. Tomos Williams starts at scrumhalf. There are six 2021 Lions in the Welsh starting XV.


15. Liam Williams (Scarlets – 74 caps)
14. Johnny McNicholl (Scarlets – 8 caps)
13. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby – 35 caps)
12. Nick Tompkins (Saracens – 16 caps)
11. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby – 12 caps)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints – 95 caps), captain
9. Tomos Williams (Cardiff Rugby – 29 caps)
1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets – 38 caps)
2. Ryan Elias (Scarlets – 23 caps)
3. Tomas Francis (Ospreys – 60 caps)
4. Will Rowlands (Dragons – 13 caps)
5. Adam Beard (Ospreys – 29 caps), vice-captain
6. Ellis Jenkins (Cardiff Rugby – 14 caps)
7. Taine Basham (Dragons – 7 caps)
8. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons – 34 caps)


16. Dewi Lake (Ospreys – uncapped)
17. Gareth Thomas (Ospreys – 5 caps)
18. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Rugby – 34 caps)
19. Seb Davies (Cardiff Rugby – 13 caps)
20. Ross Moriarty (Dragons – 49 caps)
21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets – 65 caps)
22. Callum Sheedy (Bristol Bears – 13 caps)
23. Owen Watkin (Ospreys – 26 caps)

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?