Irish are unchanged

Ireland have named an unchanged side for Saturday's mouth-watering Six Nations encounter with Wales. [more]

Irish are unchanged

Ireland have named an unchanged side for Saturday’s mouth-watering Six Nations encounter with Wales.

Declan Kidney has stuck with his selection of 11 Lions in his starting XV for the Round 4 tie at Croke Park.

But the former Munster boss does make a change to his replacements bench, with Leinster’s Rob Kearney returning after injury.

The Lions full back missed the win over England at Twickenham a fortnight ago but has since recovered from the knee injury that kept him out of that game.

The retention of 2005 Lion Geordan Murphy in the No15 shirt despite Kearney’s inclusion in the matchday 22 means there is no place for Ulster’s Andrew Trimble.

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Former Lions skipper Brian O’Driscoll will win his 100th Ireland cap, while Jonathan Sexton retains the fly-half shirt ahead of triple Lions tourist Ronan O’Gara.

Munster provide six players to the starting line up, with two more on the bench, while Leinster contribute five men to Kidney’s first XV plus a further four named among the replacements.

There are two Ulstermen in the starting XV in hooker Rory Best and Lions blindside Stephen Ferris, with Tommy Bowe of the Ospreys also starting at Croke Park.

Replacement hooker Sean Cronin is the solitary face from Connacht in the matchday squad.


15 Geordan Murphy (Leicester)
14 Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
13 Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster, captain)
12 Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster)
11 Keith Earls (Munster)
10 Jonathan Sexton (Leinster)
9 Tomas O’Leary (Munster)

1 Cian Healy (Leinster)
2 Rory Best (Ulster)
3 John Hayes (Munster)
4 Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster)
5 Paul O’Connell (Munster)
6 Stephen Ferris (Ulster)
7 David Wallace (Munster)
8 Jamie Heaslip (Leinster)


16 Sean Cronin (Connacht)
17 Tony Buckley (Munster)
18 Leo Cullen (Leinster)
19 Shane Jennings (Leinster)
20 Eoin Reddan (Leinster)
21 Ronan O’Gara (Munster)
22 Rob Kearney (Leinster)

Bold denotes Lion

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