Two changes to Irish side to face Wales on Saturday.

Ireland v Wales

Guinness Six Nations, round 2.

Aviva Stadium, Saturday, 8th February, 2:15 pm

Ireland and Wales are set to meet in round 2 of the Guinness Six Nations Championship this Saturday at the Aviva. Both sides won their opening encounters last weekend. Wales comprehensively defeated Italy 42-0 in Cardiff.  The Andy Farrell era started with a 19-12 win over Scotland last Saturday.

For this week clash, Andy Farrell has made two changes. Both changes are enforced upon him due to injuries. Peter O’Mahony starts at number 6 and Max Deegan comes onto the bench. Robbie Henshaw comes in for Leinster teammate Garry Ringrose to partner for Connacht teammate Bundee Aki.

Despite the victory, many pundits and fans decried the lack of tempo and width in the Irish play. Many of the flaws level at Joe Schmidt’s side after a disappointing World Cup in Japan were carried over into last Saturday’s performance. 

There was a disappointingly slow pace to the Irish play, with a lack of urgency in both defence and attack. Scotland’s line speed in defence put pressure on Ireland’s half-back pairing. This, in turn, forced errors from Farrell’s side. The lack of inventiveness was another bugbear of mine after watching the display against the Scots. 

Another criticism levelled at the Irish coaching set-up was their loyalty to the more established players despite a lack of form. There were only two changes from the side that faced Scotland in our World Cup opener compared to the side that started last week. After only 2 minutes that became one change as debutant Caelan Doris was forced off and was replaced by Peter O’Mahony. Meaning the only change was the retired Rory Best was replaced at hooker by his former Ulster understudy Rob Herring. Once again this week the only changes made to the side were enforced by injury.

Six Nations Table

Andy Farrell makes two changes to his Irish side to face Wales on Saturday

Ireland

  1. Cian Healy
  2. Rory Best (Captain)
  3. Tadhg Furlong
  4. Iain Henderson
  5. James Ryan
  6. Peter O’Mahony
  7. Josh Van Der Flier
  8. CJ Stander
  9. Conor Murray
  10. Jonathan Sexton
  11. Jacob Stockdale
  12. Bundee Aki
  13. Robbie Henshaw
  14. Andrew Conway
  15. Jordan Larmour

Subs: Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, Max Deegan,

John Cooney, Ross Byrne, Keith Earls.

The Welsh side who defeated Italy 42-0 last  Saturday:

 

Wales (possible – will update once named)

  1. Wyn Jones
  2. Ken Owens
  3. Dillon Lewis
  4. Jake Ball
  5. Alun Wyn Jones (Captain)
  6. Aaron Wainwright
  7. Justin Tipuric
  8. Taulupe Faletau
  9. Tomos Williams
  10. Dan Biggar
  11. Josh Adams
  12. Hadleigh Parkes
  13. George North
  14. Johnny McNicholl
  15. Leigh Halfpenny.