LionsWatch: Tipuric set for 50th cap against Ireland

LionsWatch: Tipuric set for 50th cap against Ireland

British & Irish Lions attack coach Rob Howley has backed his Welsh side to bounce back against Ireland this weekend after naming an unchanged team for the clash in Cardiff.

British & Irish Lions attack coach Rob Howley has backed his Welsh side to bounce back against Ireland this weekend after naming an unchanged team for the clash in Cardiff.

Justin Tipuric, who toured with the Lions in 2013, will win his 50th cap as one of six Lions in the starting line-up, and there are three more on the bench.

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And despite losses to England and Scotland, Howley is confident his team can turn things around against Ireland.

The Head Coach said: “We felt it was important the same group of players had the opportunity to go out and perform on Friday so we have named an unchanged match-day squad.

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“Friday night is an opportunity for us. There is a lot of experience in our group and you don’t become a bad team overnight. We want to show what we can do and that experience will be very important this week.

“We know we need to be more clinical and we need to execute better under pressure and we have been working hard on that during the last few weeks.

“Ireland are one of the in-form sides in world rugby, are coached very well, packed with experience and there are a number of interesting match-up across both teams.

“We always say we are fortunate to have the best supporters in the world and we are eager to put in a performance for them under the lights at Principality Stadium on Friday.”

Tipuric lines up with 2013 Lions skipper Sam Warburton on the other flank and Ross Moriarty at No 8, while Taulupe Faletau will provide back row cover on the bench.

Alun-Wyn Jones will skipper the side from the second row, packing down next to Jake Ball with Luke Charteris on the bench.

Elsewhere Jonathan Davies continues in the centres alongside Scott Williams and Jamie Roberts gives Howley an experienced option among his replacements.

And in the back three 2013 Player of the Series Leigh Halfpenny and Test starter George North continue alongside Liam Williams.

Wales opened their campaign with a 33-7 victory in Rome before falling to a 21-16 defeat to England which was followed by a 29-13 loss at BT Murrayfield to Scotland.
 

Wales team to face Ireland:
 
15. Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon) (69 Caps)
14. George North (Northampton Saints) (67 Caps)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (62 Caps)
12. Scott Williams (Scarlets) (44 Caps)
11. Liam Williams (Scarlets) (41 Caps)
10. Dan Biggar (Ospreys) (54 Caps)
9. Rhys Webb (Ospreys) (26 Caps)

1. Rob Evans (Scarlets) (15 Caps)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets) (48 Caps)
3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (20 Caps)
4. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (24 Caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) (108 Caps) (captain)
6. Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues) (72 Caps)
7. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys) (49 Caps)
8. Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby) (15 Caps)
 
Replacements:
16. Scott Baldwin (Ospreys) (31 Caps)
17. Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (10 Caps)
18. Samson Lee (Scarlets) (32 Caps)
19. Luke Charteris (Bath) (72 Caps)
20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (64 Caps)
21. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (23 Caps)
22. Sam Davies (Ospreys) (5 Caps)
23. Jamie Roberts (Harlequins) (89 Caps)
 

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