Seven changes as Ireland name team to face Wales in Autumn Nations Cup
A whole new ball-game.
With the 2020 Guinness Six Nations now in the rearview mirror, Andy Farrell is looking forward to a second bite at the silverware cherry. Farrell has, today, named a strong Ireland team to face Wales in the tournament opener on Friday evening.
Ireland kick off against Wayne Pivac's Wales in the first game of a Guinness Series home-stand that will also involve an encounter with Georgia. On Saturday week, they will travel to London to take on England.
The headline news is that James Lowe comes straight into the starting XV and gets the No.11 jersey for his Test debut against the Welsh.
Chris Farrell and Robbie Henshaw form the midfield partnership with Hugo Keenan getting a run on the right wing. Peter O'Mahony and Josh van der Flier are back at blindside and openside.
Jamison-Gibson Park gets the nod to start at scrumhalf alongside Johnny Sexton and Ronan Kelleher starts at hooker. Iain Henderson also returns to the starting line-up as he takes up residence in the second row with James Ryan.
On the bench, Billy Burns is set for his Test debut while Keith Earls is back to full fitness and in the No.23 jersey.
Ireland team vs. Wales
15. Jacob Stockdale
14. Hugo Keenan
13. Chris Farrell
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Jamison Gibson-Park
1. Cian Healy
2. Ronan Kelleher
3. Andrew Porter
4. Iain Henderson
5. James Ryan
6. Peter O'Mahony
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Caelan Doris
Subs: Dave Heffernan, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Quinn Roux, Will Connors, Conor Murray, Billy Burns, Keith Earls.
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