Injury-hit Wales have handed forward Andrew Coombs his first start for his country in their team to face Ireland at the Millennium stadium on Saturday.
The 28 year old backrower will partner Ian Evans in the second-row as Luke Charteris, Alun Wyn Jones and Bradley Davies are all ruled out. It’s a far cry from last year’s situation where there was an almost embarrassing number of quality and fit locks available.
However, there seems to be no problems in the back-line as interim Head Coach Rob Howley has included the usual big-name suspects across the pitch. Dan Biggar is preferred at out-half to James Hook in Howley’s first outing as Coach in the Six Nations.
The former scrum-half has also name uncapped Harlequins lock Olly Kohn, 31 on the bench.
(15-9): Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, George North; Dan Biggar, Mike Phillips;
(1-8) Gethin Jenkins, Matthew Rees Jones, Andrew Coombs, Ian Evans, Aaron Shingler, Toby Faletau, Sam Warburton (c)
REPLACEMENTS: Ken Owens, Paul James, Craig Mitchell, Olly Kohn, Justin Tipuric, Lloyd Williams, James Hook, Scott Williams.