Heaslip back for Ireland

Date published: March 12 2015

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Jamie Heaslip will make his return from a back injury in the only change to the Ireland team that will face Wales on Saturday.

Joe Schmidt's side are looking to continue their charge towards a Grand Slam, but face a tricky task away in Cardiff.

Having seen off England 19-9 in Dublin last time out, Schmidt has made just one change, with Heaslip fit again after recovering from the fractured vertebrae he suffered against France.

He comes into the side in place of Jordi Murphy, who drops down to the bench. That means there is no place in the matchday squad for Tommy O'Donnell, despite his impressive display off the bench last time out.

That's because Sean O'Brien is fit to reclaim his place as he aims to put an injury-hit couple of seasons behind him at Test level. He has recovered from the head knock that forced him off against England.

Elsewhere Jonny Sexton is fit to take his place at fly-half, despite having been forced off early in the second half against the English, while Jared Payne has also recovered from concussion symptoms and will reunite with Robbie Henshaw in midfield.

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Felix Jones

Date: Saturday, March 14
Venue: Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Pascal Gauzère (France), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)
TMO: Graham Hughes

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