Six Nations milestone for Cian Healy as Ireland name XV

Date published: February 5 2021 - Adam Kyriacou

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has named a strong side to take on Wales in their Six Nations opener at the Principality Stadium on Sunday.

Cian Healy will make his 50th Championship appearance as he wins his 105th cap for Ireland. He is joined in the front-row by Rob Herring and Andrew Porter.

Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan form the lock partnership with Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander named in the back-row.

Johnny Sexton skippers Ireland

Johnny Sexton will captain the side as he competes in his 12th Six Nations Championship.

He is joined in the half-backs by Conor Murray, who is one of five players from the matchday squad who played in Ireland’s last Six Nations victory in Cardiff in 2013 (Murray, Sexton, Healy, O’Mahony and Keith Earls).

Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose are partnered in midfield having last started a Test match together in the quarter-final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Hugo Keenan is selected at full-back with Earls and James Lowe, making his Six Nations debut, named on the wing.

The replacements are Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Tadgh Furlong, Iain Henderson, Will Connors, Jamison Gibson-Park, Billy Burns and Jordan Larmour.

Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Jonathan Sexton (c), 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter Oโ€™Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Andrew Porter, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Will Connors, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Jordan Larmour

Date: Sunday, February 7
Venue: Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Luke Pearce (England), Alex Ruiz (France)
TMO: Tom Foley (England)