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Wales Online
Wales Online
Jon Doel

Ireland name team to play Wales in Six Nations but suffer huge blow

Ireland prop Tadhg Furlong has been ruled out of Saturday's Six Nations opener against Wales.

Finlay Bealham will start Saturday's match at tighthead in place of Furlong, with Tom O'Toole providing cover from the bench.

Leinster man Furlong has been suffering with ankle and calf injuries in recent weeks.

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Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey will make his first appearance in the championship since his Test debut seven years ago after being selected to start ahead of Bundee Aki.

Aside from Furlong's absence, Andy Farrell's opening selection of the tournament contained no major surprises as his side seek to build on a stellar 2022 which propelled them to the top of the world rankings.

James Lowe will return on the left wing after missing the autumn campaign with a calf injury, while captain Johnny Sexton is ready to lead the team from fly-half after overcoming his cheekbone issue.

Wales named their side earlier this week, with Warren Gatland picking a side packed full of experience. Veterans Alun Wyn Jones and Leigh Halfpenny were both initially included, while youngster Joe Hawkins got the nod at inside centre. You can read full details on the Wales team here.

However, Halfpenny has been ruled out on Thursday with a back spasm, meaning Liam Williams starts at full-back.

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Ireland team v Wales in full

15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 25 caps
14. Mack Hansen (Connacht) 8 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 47 caps
12. Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 9 caps
11. James Lowe (Leinster) 15 caps
10. Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 109 caps (c)
9. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 23 caps

1. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
2. Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 13 caps
3. Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 27 caps
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 36 caps
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 48 caps
6. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 89 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 45 caps
8. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 23 caps


16. Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 31 caps
17. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 121 caps
18. Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 4 caps
19. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 68 caps
20. Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 33 caps
21. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 100 caps
22. Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD) 4 caps
23. Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 41 caps

Read more:

Today's rugby news as Ireland dismiss Gatland's claim and Wales team meeting footage emerges

WRU bosses admit warning signs were ignored during Senedd grilling

Wayne Pivac's attempt to convince Tadhg Beirne to play for Wales instead of Ireland

Wales under-20s international moves to England with immediate effect to follow in footsteps of Welsh stars

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