Lowe among seven changes to Ireland XV; Darragh Ó Sé on what went wrong for Kerry

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Andy Farrell has named 11 Leinster players in his team to face Wales on Friday. Photograph: Inpho

Andy Farrell has named 11 Leinster players in his team to face Wales on Friday. Photograph: Inpho

Andy Farrell has made seven changes in personnel and three positional switches to the Ireland team to face Wales in Friday’s Autumn Nations Cup opener. One of the most striking aspects of an exciting-looking, redesigned Irish XV is that it features 11 Leinster players. James Lowe will become the 11th player to represent Ireland through the residency ruling when he makes his Test debut at the Aviva Stadium. Gordon D’Arcy believes Farrell’s challenge is getting player buy-in to incremental change: “The coach hasn’t a hope if the players do not buy into his methods. Farrell gets this. Ireland are trying to manipulate opposing defences to create mismatches. It is a simple enough game plan where they are being asked to think on the fly more than replicate precise movements.”

Rory McIlroy, once again bidding to complete the final leg of a career Grand Slam, will begin his US Masters campaign on Thursday alongside Dustin Johnson and Patrick Cantlay while Shane Lowry will play alongside defending champion Tiger Woods and US amateur winner Andy Ogletree in the first two rounds. Check out all of the groupings and tee-times here. McIlroy is coming in under the radar this week at Augusta National, he spoke to the media on Tuesday: “This week, it’s take advantage of the holes that you can, play smart on the other ones. And if you can do that and think a little bit better and concentrate a little bit more, and just limit your mistakes, that’s always a good thing around here.”

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.