Henshaw and O’Mahony named in Ireland XV for Wales visit
Andy Farrell makes two changes to starting line-up for Saturday’s clash at the Aviva
Robbie Henshaw replaces the injured Garry Ringrose in Ireland’s midfield on Saturday. Photograph: Brian Reilly-Troy/Inpho
Josh Van Der Flier, CJ Stander and Peter O’Mahony form Ireland’s backrow against Wales. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho
Ireland coach Andy Farrell has been forced to make two changes to the side that faces Wales on Saturday at the Aviva stadium.
Garry Ringrose (hand) and Caelan Doris (concussion) have been ruled out while Will Addison has not recovered from a calf injury to be considered for selection.
CJ Stander switches to number eight with Peter O’Mahony returning to the starting XV at blindside. Leinster’s Max Deegan is set to win his first cap off the bench.
Both Munster backrowers featured prominently during last weekend’s 19-12 victory over Scotland when Doris was forced off in the fifth minute following a head clash with Adam Hastings.
“Caelan had a bit of a knock previously this season [against Treviso in November],” said Farrell. “He’s a young boy. I think we’ll do right by young kids to make sure they recover properly.”
Dave Kilcoyne, who also suffered a head injury against Scotland, has been included in the squad, as loosehead cover for Cian Healy, but should he fail to complete the recovery process Jack McGrath will replace him on the bench.
Ulster hooker Rob Herring continues ahead of Ronàn Kelleher while Conor Murray is preferred over John Cooney at scrumhalf.
“I think we’ve got a good team,” said Farrell. “I think we’ve got continuity there and I think it is the right team to play Wales and represent our group.”
Besides Rory Best (retirement) and Rob Kearney (dropped), it is largely same personnel that featured in 2019 with Kelleher and Deegan the only new players in the match day squad.
“I think Max has all the attributes of a great backrower. You go into the unknown with test match rugby but we will see if he is ready. He’s a great all round footballer who can add an extra dimension when he comes off the bench, especially in attack.”
Ireland: Jordan Larmour; Andrew Conway, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Johnny Sexton (capt), Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rob Herring, Tadhg Furlong; James Ryan, Iain Henderson; Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, CJ Stander. Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, David Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, Max Deegan, John Cooney, Ross Byrne, Keith Earls.