Declan Kidney has named an experienced side for Ireland’s opening game in the RBS Six Nations championship against Wales in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Conor Murray will start his first Six Nations game alongside Jonny Sexton, who keeps the No 10 jersey ahead of Ronan O’Gara. Donnacha O’Callaghan also retains his place in the second row with Paul O’Connell, who will captain the side.
Keith Earls has been handed the number 13 jersey vacated by the absence of Brian O’Driscoll, who will miss the entire campaign through injury.
The uncapped Peter O’Mahony will be on the bench alongside Ronan O’Gara, Fergus McFadden, Sean Cronin, Tom Court, Donnacha Ryan and Eoin Reddan.
R Kearney, T Bowe, K Earls,G D’Arcy, A Trimble, J Sexton,C Murray; C Healy, R Best, M Ross, D.O’Callaghan, P O’Connell (c), S Ferris, S O’Brien, J Heaslip
16 – Sean Cronin
17 – Tom Court
18 – Donnacha Ryan
19 – Peter O’Mahony
20 – Eoin Reddan
21 – Ronan O’Gara
22 – Fergus McFadden