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Faletau misses out as Wales name starting XV to face Ireland

However, Gatland has been able to recall Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny and Dan Biggar for his 100th match in charge of the Principality.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

LIONS BACK ROW Taulupe Faletau is the notable omission from Warren Gatland’s matchday line-up to face Ireland, despite the influential number eight being rated fit and available yesterday.

Gatland has been able to recall three backs with Lions pedigree however, with Leigh Halfpenny and Liam Williams joining Steff Evans in the back three. Meanwhile Dan Biggar takes up the 10 jersey vacated by Rhys Patchell.

With Faletau headed back to Bath, Wales’ pack is unchanged from the impressive win over Scotland in round one and the close-run defeat to England in Twickenham.

“It is great to be able to bring so much experience back into the starting XV and into the backline,” said Gatland ahead of what will be his 100th match in charge of Wales.

“It is the first week we have had everyone in the ‘green’ in terms of availability which is a nice luxury to have and a positive ahead of what is a very important test match against a very good Ireland side.”

Despite the excellent form of Worcester wing Josh Adams, George North fills the number 23 shirt with Justin Tipuric named as back row cover.

Wales (v Ireland)

15. Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets)
14. Liam Williams (Saracens)
13. Scott Williams (Scarlets)
12. Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets)
11. Steff Evans (Scarlets)
10. Dan Biggar (Ospreys)
9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets)

1. Rob Evans (Scarlets)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets)
3. Samson Lee (Scarlets)
4. Cory Hill (Dragons)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys) Captain
6. Aaron Shingler (Scarlets)
7. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues)
8. Ross Moriarty (Gloucester)

Replacements:

16. Elliot Dee (Dragons)
17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets)
18. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs)
19. Bradley Davies (Ospreys)
20. Justin Tipuric (Ospreys)
21. Aled Davies (Scarlets)
22. Gareth Anscombe (Cardiff Blues)
23. George North (Northampton Saints)

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Sean Farrell

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