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O'Connell returns to face Wales

06th February 2014 13:21

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Skipper: Paul O'Connell

Munster second row Paul O'Connell has returned to the starting line-up to lead Ireland against Wales in Dublin this Saturday.

O'Connell is one of two changes to the team, with veteran Leinster centre Gordon D'Arcy returning in place of Luke Marshall.

Last week's late call-up to the starting XV, Dan Tuohy, resumes his place on the bench as O'Connell is the only change to the pack that started against Scotland.

D'Arcy will partner Brian O'Driscoll in the Irish midfield for the 53rd time on Saturday, with Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton named as the half-back pairing.

The back-three that provided two of Ireland's tries against Scotland is retained with Rob Kearney at full-back and Dave Kearney and Andrew Trimble on the wings.

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Cian Healy.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Dan Tuohy, 20 Tommy O'Donnell, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Paddy Jackson, 23 Fergus McFadden.

Date: Saturday, February 8
Kick-off: 14:30 GMT
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), JP Doyle (England)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)

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PosTeamPPts
1Ireland58
2England58
3Wales56
4France56
5Scotland52
6Italy50