Picking The Ireland Team To Take On Wales This Weekend
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Ireland showed some glimpses of what they’re capable of on Sunday against France – but Wales on Saturday will be an entirely different beast.
Gatland’s men are on an unprecedented unbeaten streak at the moment and are chasing a Grand Slam against the men in green in Cardiff. But this is far from a ‘dead rubber’ game for Ireland who could retain their title if they beat Wales and Scotland manage to get a result against England later that day.
Joe Schmidt will also want to keep the momentum going ahead of the Rugby World Cup – and achieve something he’s never done before as Ireland boss. A Six Nations win over Wales at the Principality.
With that being said here’s the squad we reckon he should go with on Saturday.
15. Rob Kearney (if fit)
14. Keith Earls
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Bundee Aki
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray
1. Cian Healy
2. Rory Best (c)
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. James Ryan
5. Iain Henderson
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Sean O’Brien
8. CJ Stander
Replacements: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, John Cooney, Joey Carbery (if fit), Jordan Larmour
There are still question marks over Rob Kearney’s fitness but it sounds like he’ll be ok come Saturday. In terms of the rest of the backline there’s no need to make any changes as far as we’re concerned.
In the pack Josh van der Flier has been ruled out after injuring his groin in the win over France. Schmidt has a number of options here including switching Stander and O’Mahony to 6 and 7 respectively, with Conan coming in at 8. Dan Leavy is also fit again but perhaps the Wales game is a bit too soon for him in terms of match fitness. But we’re gonna go with O’Brien and his experience against a powerful Welsh pack.
And on the bench Tadhg Beirne simply has to come in. He’s an explosive option off the bench that knows the Welsh players all too well from his time with Scarlets. He’s also devastating a the breakdown and could make a real impact.
What do you think of this selection? Let us know in the comments if you’d make any changes.