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Dublin: 4°C Thursday 13 May 2021

Heaslip starts as Schmidt names settled Ireland team for trip to Wales

There’s just a single change to the Irish team searching for a fourth Six Nations win in Cardiff.

JOE SCHMIDT HAS named Jamie Heaslip at number eight in his Ireland team to face Wales in Saturday’s Six Nations clash at the Millenium Stadium [KO 14.30].

Jamie Heaslip Heaslip returns after his back injury. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The Leinster captain missed the round three win over England after suffering three fractured vertebrae in his back during the victory over France two weeks beforehand.

Heaslip’s powers of recovery have kicked in once again to allow him to get through contact training this week and therefore take over at number eight, with Jordi Murphy dropping to the bench having deputised impressively for Heaslip against England.

That in turns means Tommy O’Donnell is unlucky to miss out on the match day 23, as the rest of the replacements bench is unchanged. Schmidt has again avoided any temptation to alter backs replacements Ian Madigan and Felix Jones.

Captain Paul O’Connell will win his 100th cap against Wales, partnering Devin Toner in the second row for his milestone appearance.

Johnny Sexton has fully recovered from a hamstring strain to start at out-half, while Sean O’Brien and Jared Payne are fit to play after recovering from the concussions they sustained against England.

Jonathan Sexton Sexton is named at out-half once again for Ireland. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Ireland (v Wales)

15. Rob Kearney
14. Tommy Bowe
13. Jared Payne
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Simon Zebo
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray

1. Jack McGrath
2. Rory Best
3. Mike Ross
4. Devin Toner
5. Paul O’Connell (captain)
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Sean O’Brien
8. Jamie Heaslip


16. Sean Cronin
17. Cian Healy
18. Marty Moore
19. Iain Henderson
20. Jordi Murphy
21. Eoin Reddan
22. Ian Madigan
23. Felix Jones

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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