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Andy Farrell makes seven changes for Ireland’s Autumn Nations Cup opener with Wales

Farrell is using Friday night’s match to experiment.

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has made seven changes for Ireland’s opening Autumn Nations Cup clash with Wales on Friday night.

Leinster wing James Lowe comes straight into the side for his Test debut at No.11 after qualifying through the residency ruling.

Chris Farrell, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan, Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Jamison-Gibson Park and Ronan Kelleher also come into the XV as Farrell shakes things up following the disappointing end to Ireland’s Six Nations campaign.

Ireland face Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Friday with kick-off at 7 pm.

Their second game sees them travel to Twickenham to face recently-crowned Six Nations champions England on November 21 before hosting Georgia in Dublin on November 29.

Ulster fly-half Billy Burns is set to make his Ireland debut from the bench following his call-up last week.

Connacht lock Quinn Roux and Munster’s Keith Earls, who has recovered from a back injury, have been recalled to the bench with Andrew Conway, Bundee Aki, Stander, Tadhg Beirne, and Rob Herring dropping out of Farrell’s squad.

Ireland team to face Wales:

15. Jacob Stockdale
14. Hugo Keenan
13. Chris Farrell
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton (capt.)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Cian Healy
2. Ronan Kelleher
3. Andrew Porter
4. Iain Henderson
5. James Ryan
6. Peter Oโ€™Mahony
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Caelan Doris

Replacements:

16. Dave Heffernan
17. Ed Byrne
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Quinn Roux
20. Will Connors
21. Conor Murray
22. Billy Burns
23. Keith Earls

Referee: Mathieu Raynal [FFR]

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