Wales unchanged for Ireland clash

Date published: March 8 2017

Wales have named an unchanged side for their Six Nations clash with Ireland on Friday, with Justin Tipuric set to win his 50th cap.

Tipuric, who made his debut in Cardiff in 2011, will take to the field in his 25th Six Nations encounter and line up alongside Sam Warburton and Ross Moriarty in the back-row.

Captain Alun Wyn Jones and Jake Ball continue their partnership in the second-row with Rob Evans, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis named in the front-row.

Ospreys pair Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar start at half-back with Scarlets duo Scott Williams and Jonathan Davies partnering in the midfield.

Liam Williams, George North and Leigh Halfpenny comprise the back-three as Wales welcome Ireland to Cardiff.

"We felt it was important the same group of players had the opportunity to go out and perform on Friday so we have named an unchanged match-day squad," said Wales head coach Rob Howley.

"Friday night is an opportunity for us. There is a lot of experience in our group and you don't become a bad team overnight. We want to show what we can do and that experience will be very important this week.

"We know we need to be more clinical and we need to execute better under pressure and we have been working hard on that during the last few weeks.

"Ireland are one of the in-form sides in world rugby and are coached very well and packed with experience and there are a number of interesting match-up across both teams.

"We always say we are fortunate to have the best supporters in the world and we are eager to put in a performance for them under the lights at Principality Stadium on Friday."

On the bench, Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris and Taulupe Faletau provide the forward cover. Gareth Davies, Sam Davies and Jamie Roberts are the backline replacements.

Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Scott Williams, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Warburton, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Jake Ball, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Rob Evans
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Samson Lee, 19 Luke Charteris, 20 Taulupe Faletau, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Jamie Roberts

Date: Friday, March 10
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 20:00 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Matthew Carley (England)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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