Wales change fly-half for Six Nations test against Ireland they are ‘relishing’

Adam Kyriacou
Wales fly-half Sam Costelow warming up.

Wales fly-half Sam Costelow warming up.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland has made one change to his starting line-up for their Six Nations match against reigning champions Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.

The Championship returns for Round Three this weekend and the action kicks off on Saturday with this mouth-watering game between Gatland and Andy Farrell’s men.

As mentioned, there is one change to the Wales starting team that played England at Twickenham on February 10, with Sam Costelow returning for Wales in the 10 jersey.

Costelow starts at 10

Costelow will start alongside Tomos Williams in the half-backs with Nick Tompkins and George North once again linking up in the centres in what is a formidable combination.

Youngster Cameron Winnett also retains his spot at full-back and is joined by Josh Adams and Rio Dyer in the back three as the lethal trio look to cause some damage.

Up front it is prop duo Gareth Thomas and Keiron Assiratti packing down either side of hooker Elliot Dee with captain Dafydd Jenkins in the second-row with Adam Beard.

Completing the starting XV is a back-row trio of Alex Mann, Tommy Reffell and Aaron Wainwright, with Welsh fans hoping flanker Reffell will be a nuisance on the ground.

Among the replacements, back-rower Mackenzie Martin is in line to pick up his first senior cap on Saturday and would become the 1,200th Wales men’s international.

Elsewhere, tighthead prop Dillon Lewis will make his first appearance of this year’s Six Nations if called on from the bench, where Ioan Lloyd features in jersey number 22.

“We are excited to go out to Dublin and test ourselves against one of the leading sides in world rugby. It’s a challenge we are relishing,” stressed Wales head coach Gatland.

“We’ve made steps in the last couple of games and now it’s about building on that, learning from those experiences and taking that into this weekend.

“It’s about continuing to work hard, looking for accuracy in our performance across 80 minutes and also keeping our discipline.”

Wales team to face Ireland

Wales: 15 Cameron Winnett, 14 Josh Adams, 13 George North, 12 Nick Tompkins, 11 Rio Dyer, 10 Sam Costelow, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Aaron Wainwright, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 Alex Mann, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Dafydd Jenkins (c), 3 Keiron Assiratti, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Gareth Thomas
Replacements: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Dillon Lewis, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Mackenzie Martin, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Ioan Lloyd, 23 Mason Grady

Date: Saturday, February 24
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Referee: Andrea Piardi (Italy)
Assistant Referees: Karl Dickson (England), Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)

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