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Joe Schmidt Makes Five Changes To Ireland Starting XV For Wales Showdown

Joe Schmidt has named his matchday 23 as Ireland look to secure a third tournament victory on the trot when Wales come to Dublin in Round 3 of the NatWest Six Nations on Saturday. 

Widespread reports this week have indicated that Ireland would be without Tadhg Furlong and Iain Henderson due to the hamstring injuries which they are both suffering from.

Andy Farrell indicated during the week that both players are “hitting their markers” but it seems that the Irish management team don’t want to risk the duo so Andrew Porter and James Ryan return as a result.

Cian Healy gets the nod at loosehead ahead of Jack McGrath while Chris Farrell partners Bundee Aki in midfield in the absence of the injured Robbie Henshaw. CJ Stander comes back into the team at the back of the scrum and Jack Conan drops to the bench.

Ireland Team To Face Wales: 

15. Rob Kearney

14. Keith Earls

13. Chris Farrell

12. Bundee Aki

11. Jacob Stockdale

10. Jonnny Sexton

9. Conor Murray

1. Cian Healy

2. Rory Best (c)

3. Andrew Porter

4. James Ryan

5. Devin Toner

6. Peter O’Mahony

7. Dan Leavy

8. CJ Stander

Replacements:

16. Sean Cronin

17. Jack McGrath

18. John Ryan

19. Quinn Roux

20. Jack Conan

21. Kieran Marmion

22. Joey Carbery

23. Fergus McFadden

Ireland and Wales kicks off at 2.15pm at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday afternoon. 

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email [email protected] or on Twitter