Ireland Team Named For Guinness Six Nations Opener With Wales

Round one.

The Ireland coaching group have named the team to take on Wales at the Principality Stadium in the first round of the 2021 Guinness Six Nations Championship.

Johnny Sexton will captain the side as he competes in his twelfth Six Nations Championship and his second as Ireland captain. He is joined in the half-backs by Conor Murray who is one of five players from the matchday squad who played in Ireland’s last Six Nations victory in Cardiff in 2013 (Murray, Sexton, Healy, O’Mahony, Earls).

Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose are partnered in midfield having last started a Test match together in the quarter-final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Hugo Keenan is selected at fullback with support on the wings from Keith Earls and James Lowe, who makes his Six Nations debut.

Cian Healy, who makes his 50th Six Nations appearance, is joined in the front row by Rob Herring and Andrew Porter. Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan form the lock partnership with Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander named in the back-row.

The replacements are Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Tadgh Furlong, Iain Henderson, Will Connors, Jamison Gibson Park, Billy Burns and Jordan Larmour.

The game kicks off at 3pm on Sunday and will be televised on Virgin in the Republic of Ireland and on BBC in Northern Ireland

IRELAND team to play Wales

15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 6 caps
14. Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 88 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 30 caps
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 47 caps
11. James Lowe (Leinster) 2 caps
10. Jonathan Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 95 caps CAPTAIN
9. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 87 caps

1. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 104 caps
2. Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 16 caps
3. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 32 caps
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 17 caps
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 32 caps
6. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 73 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 28 caps
8. CJ Stander (Munster/Shannon) 46 caps

Replacements:
16. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 6 caps
17. Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians) 39 caps
18. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 44 caps
19. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 58 caps
20. Will Connors (Leinster/UCD) 5 caps
21. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 5 caps
22. Billy Burns (Ulster) 3 caps
23. Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 24 caps