Ireland names team to play Wales

rob kearney

Paul O’Connell and Gordon D’Arcy return for Ireland this weekend – what do you make of their team? Will they beat Wales?

Ireland team to play Wales: R Kearney (Leinster); A Trimble (Ulster), B O’Driscoll (Leinster), G D’Arcy (Leinster), D Kearney (Leinster); J Sexton (Racing Metro 92), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster); P O’Connell Munster, capt), D Toner (Leinster); P O’Mahony (Munster), C Henry (Ulster), J Heaslip (Leinster).

Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), J McGrath (Leinster), M Moore (Leinster), D Tuohy (Ulster), T O’Donnell (Munster), I Boss (Leinster), P Jackson (Ulster), F McFadden (Leinster).

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

23 thoughts on “Ireland names team to play Wales

  1. If Ireland play like they did against the all blacks, no one will beat them
    They have some great players , o’connel is back and darcy.
    I wish Sean o brien was fit,you can’t have everything.
    , IRELAND WIN..?

    1. Sure, but if they play like they did against Australia, almost everyone will beat them

      They weren’t that hot against the Scots either – though they seemed to gel more as the match went on

      I am hoping for an immense game like last year’s. My money is on the Welsh winning by just a few points.

      1. Thank you Pablito. I’m bored of this “well, we nearly beat the ABs so we’ll spank everyone now” talk. It’s amazing how they can play 2 matches on successive weekends, be abject in one and brilliant in the other, and assume that the only one that indicates their quality going forward is the one they were brilliant in.

        As for the match itself – I feel an Irish win coming on. Home advantage, good first XV selected, Wales continuing to look like they lack the razor edge they can have. Ireland by a few points.

        1. I’m never confident when we play any of the big sides but for once I can see an Ireland win, we have gone pretty conservative but I think Ireland by 3 in a battle of attrition!

        2. Surely Wales will win Brighty? am looking forward to seeing them strut out as the defending champions ;)

          This match really has become the match of the championship for neutrals. Can’t wait.

          1. I’m being mischievous. But allegedly Gats told Wales to make a statement and play as champions. Not an entirely bonkers thing to stay, but as with a lot of what Gats says publicly it is ripe for twisting. I suspect that is why Lancaster talks in such bland management speak is to avoid this. Just ends up annoying his own fans!

  2. JS has gone for the safer option in midfield of BOD and Darcy who know each others game so well. There were some issues with BOD and Marshall last week, and if they weren’t up against Scotland whose attack is as sharp as a spoon, could’ve found themselves in trouble.

    The form of Healy and AJ worries me greatly as a Wales fan. One in the form of his life, the other apparently struggling to adapt to rule changes.

    Weather is supposed to be monstrous on Saturday also, which I doubt will suit either side, but think Wales are less suited to a quagmire.

    Heart says Wales, head says Ireland.

    1. Yes Ivor, the Irish have a monopoly on passion and the fact they’re able to get more excited and wound up for this game than Wales will hand victory to them on a plate. I envy the Irish and their ability to get excited for things.

  3. With the weather on its way and based on last week’s form – Ireland by 7. However Ireland bounce about in form like a yo-yo and Wales have a habit of changing the level of their game to match anyone they play so really could go either way.

    Wouldn’t want to put money on it.

  4. As an irish fan i think the only weakness in the welsh side is up front. The irish set piece looks good the linout drive particular good under the new managment, scrum are no world beaters but looked soild last week maybe cian healy is our best weapon but the replacment front row look pretty good aswell. Wales have more lions in the pack but didnt look great last week but who knows they be better this week for sure. Given the weather forcast i predict a real armrestle and think ireland can match wales there. Prediction bad weather irish win by small margin good weather and the welsh backs will have to much for us. come on ireland

    1. karl, I agree. The weather looks fit to turn this into a slog fest, I can’t see our (or yours really) backs having much to do with this match.

  5. No id say alot of scrums and re-set scrums even though this probaly plays into our favour i would have prefered good conditions and a repeat of the usual high scoring games between us.

  6. I think it will be pretty close, but I’m hopeful that the boys in green can come out on top.
    Some people have referenced Ireland’s performances against Australia and the massive improvement a week later against the All blacks.
    Although Ireland were very in consistent under Declan Kidney I don’t think we can (yet) make the same observation about the Joe Schmidt tenure in charge.
    A new coach should be allowed some time to bring their schemes and systems in.
    It is clear that the problem against Australia was the players struggling with the new coaches scheme.
    So I don’t think we can make claims of in consistency about this team.
    At least not yet!

  7. Am rather in two minds. Have gone for a slim Irish win based on last week’s games putting them even, but Ireland at home. However all my 6N predictions were Wales to win it. Looking forward to the game whatever the weather!

  8. It is often gas at how some of my fellow irish fans will always grasp at straws rather than see reality. This is i believe actually one of the weakest irish sides for quiet a while in lots of areas. We might still get away with it as wales can often wobble in some of their away games every season but if wales come to dublin with intent on playing and backing themselves to peform . (which ireland can never do btw) then it could be a strong welsh victory and land us in real trouble. Where is this great new era that J. S. was about to hearld because if anything things are getting worse and more inward , Most real irish rugby folk that actually follow grasroots rugby are dismayed that j s has continued with the same old rubbish as his predecessor ended with and is simply refusing to back our young players. I will pose one ? , .Would henshaw, hanrahan, jordi murphy , madigan , james harte , or robin copeland all get left out of a welsh 6 n squad if thes lads were all born just west of the severn . Btw watch out for the ireland u 20 s on friday night in their match also against wales and they are of course being coached by mike ruddock , a welsh man whom many rugby people on this side of the irish sea believe should be in the irish coach s box on saturday instead , a proven guy, . What a crazy country we are even in sport.

    1. Mike Ruddock instead of Joe Schmidt??
      You are on your own there!
      So you reckon that Robbie Henshaw would be in the Wales team ahead of Leigh Halfpenny?

  9. I think the line-out and tactical kicking are going to be absolutely crucial in this game. It’s nip and tuck in the pack, I think, but the biggest factor is whether hibbard and Best can hit their jumpers. Gotta say I give Wales a bit of an edge here, although I’m not totally convinced by Hibberd.

    Tactical kicking wise, I feel Sexton has a disctinct advantage on Priestland.

    I’m going to be very intrigued by this game. I feel this is a game where one side wins or loses with a kick in the dying minutes. I’m going for Ireland… the Wales halfbacks just aren’t their strongest suit.

    (My lack of belief in the Wales 9/10 axis is the reason I feel Wales have fallen just short so often against the big SH teams, while Sexton/Murray may be the best combination in the 6nations)

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