Keith Earls has been ruled out of Ireland’s first game of the Six Nations against Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday afternoon due to an illness to his baby daughter.
The Munster and Ireland centre, who was out of the Ireland camp this week due to the birth of his first child, will be replaced by Fergus McFadden in the starting 15.
Dave Kearney will replaced McFadden on the bench for the Sunday afternoon clash.
Speaking on Friday afternoon, Ireland manager Michael Kearney said: “There has been one late change to the Irish team, Fergus McFadden has come in as a replacement for Keith Earls, who has been ruled out due to personal reasons.
“Unfortunately Keith’s baby has been taken ill and is in hospital as we speak. The nature of the illness is unclear, however I did speak to Keith this morning and he was hopeful and optimistic that the baby would get home some time over the weekend.
“The decision was taken following a conversation with Declan (Kidney) and Keith yesterday and it was thought that it was in the best interests of Keith and his partner and their families that Keith remains in Limerick for the weekend.
“Fergus comes in, instead of Keith, and David Kearney has taken Fergus’ place on the replacements bench.”
R Kearney, T Bowe, F McFadden,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 – Dave Kearney