Picking The Ireland Team To Take On Wales In Their Six Nations Opener Following Squad Announcement

Not long to go.

Ireland boss Andy Farrell named a 37-man strong Ireland squad for this year’s Six Nations yesterday afternoon, as the men in green look to build on a hugely successful Autumn window that saw them go three for three, including a famous win over the All Blacks.

Given the manner and style of all three wins, fans aren’t expecting too much change heading into this year’s Championship. It’s a case of “much of the same, please” and we’ve got a real shot of winning here.

Farrell though has made a couple of interesting additions to his panel, with uncapped due Mike Lowry and Mack Hansen drafted in. Both players have been in excellent form and may not get too many minutes this time around, but it’s great to see Farrell still bringing young players into the squad as we get to the business end of the Rugby World Cup cycle.

There will definitely be one spot up for grabs in the starting line-up, with James Lowe unable to make the squad after picking up a muscle injury. So who takes his place? Do you go with the experience of Earls? The footwork of Larmour? The speed of Baloucoune? Or the form of Hansen, who tops the URC charts for tries, clean breaks, and defenders beaten.

Something tells, just with it being the first game, and it being tricky opposition in Wales, Farrell will deploy the experience of Earls here, but it’s certainly a position that is up for grabs.

Anyway, here’s our team for the opening game…

Predicted Ireland team vs Wales

15. Hugo Keenan
14. Andrew Conway
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Bundee Aki
11. Keith Earls
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Jamison Gibson-Park

1. Andrew Porter
2. Rónan Kelleher
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. James Ryan
5. Tadhg Beirne
6. Caelan Doris
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jack Conan

Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Iain Henderson, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray, Jack Carty, Jordan Larmour.

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