Sports

Tadhg Beirne comes in for Ireland's final Six Nations clash

Tadhg Beirne comes in for Ireland's final Six Nations clash

Joe Schmidt has unveiled his Irish team to face Wales in their final RBS Six Nations game of the season in the Principality Stadium, Cardiff on Saturday afternoon.

Tadhg Beirne comes into the starting XV for his Six Nations debut in the place of Iain Henderson, Sean O'Brien comes in for the injured Josh van der Flier at openside while Rob Kearney returns from injury to take the place of Jordan Larmour at fullback.

Beirne is joined in the Ireland pack by Munster back-rowers Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander.

Kearney had to pull out of their game against France at the last minute and was replaced by Jordan Larmour, who now drops to the bench.

Schmidt said: "He probably would have liked to have had a bit more game time leading into it but it's just a case of slotting people in. If it was me I'd be concentrating on playing Scotland", joked Gatland. We've worked in the (Six Nations) down weeks and we've trained as hard as any team I have seen. "And I know he's incredibly motivated to be as ready as he can be".

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The availability of Liam Williams is a major boost to their Grand Slam hopes.

Wales are bidding for what would be a third Grand Slam under Gatland in what is his final Six Nations campaign before he steps down after the World Cup in Japan in November.

Ireland: R Kearney; K Earls, G Ringrose, B Aki, J Stockdale; J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy, R Best (capt), T Furlong; T Beirne, J Ryan; P O'Mahony, S O'Brien, CJ Stander.

Munster duo Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne plus Andrew Porter cover the front row off the bench, with Ultan Dillane and Conan the other forward replacements.


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