Andy Farrell has named his Ireland side which will take on Wales this Friday in the opening match of the Autumn Nations Cups.
Set to make his debut in Irish colors is New Zealander James Lowe, who moved to Dublin from Waikato in 2017 to play for Leinster. His three years living in Ireland qualify him for Irish international duty.
#TeamOfUs— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) November 10, 2020
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Andy Farrell has named his Ireland team to face Wales in Friday's #GuinnessSeries opener at @AVIVAStadium, including a debut for James Lowe 🙌#ShoulderToShoulder #AutumnNationsCup #IREvWAL pic.twitter.com/5GNqYvylLg
35-year-old Johnny Sexton will captain the side from the fly-half position, marking his 94th cap for his country. His halfback partner on Friday will be a familiar face, but not Conor Murray. Sexton’s Leinster teammate Jamison Gibson-Park gets the nod at scrumhalf, with Murray coming in from the bench.
Up front youngster Ronan Kelleher gets the start at hooker, between the experienced veterans Cian Healy and Andrew Porter in the front row.
Farrell has elected a big and powerful second row, starting Iain Henderson and James Ryan at the locks, while the always busy Peter O’Mahony teams up with Josh Van Der Flier and Caelan Doris in the back row.
The ever-reliable Robbie Henshaw pairs up in the centers with big Chris Farrell. Farrell comes in for the injured Garry Ringrose, giving the Munster man a great opportunity to impress on the test level.
Most exciting about the lineup, however, will be the electric back three trio of sevens flyer Hugo Keenan, on-form Jacob Stockdale, and Ireland’s newest gadget, James Lowe. Ireland has lacked the ultra-dynamism that other top teams have in their back three over the years, but that trend looks to be over.
Off the bench, Billy Burns looks set for his Ireland debut after moving from England to Belfast to play for Ulster two years ago.
Full Team Rosters
|Wales Players & Positions||Ireland Players & Positons|
|Props: Rhys Carre; Leon Brown; Rob Evans; Tomas Francis; Samson Lee; Dillon Lewis; Nicky Smith||Props: Finlay Bealham; Ed Byrne; Cian Healy; Andrew Porter; John Ryan|
|Hookers: Elliot Dee; Ryan Elias; Sam Parry||Hookers: Dave Heffernan; Rob Herring; Rónan Kelleher|
|Locks: Jake Ball; Adam Beard; Seb Davies; Cory Hill; Alun Wyn Jones; Will Rowlands||Locks: Tadhg Beirne; Ultan Dillane; Iain Henderson; Quinn Roux; James Ryan|
|Flankers: James Davies; Shane Lewis-Hughes; Justin Tipuric; Aaron Wainwright||Flankers: Will Connors; Peter O’Mahony; Josh Van der Flier|
|No. 8’s: Taulupe Faletau; Ross Moriarty||No. 8’s: Caelan Doris; CJ Stander|
|Scrum-halves: Gareth Davies; Kieran Hardy; Rhys Webb; Lloyd Williams||Scrumhalves: Jamison Gibson-Park; Kieran Marmion; Conor Murray|
|Fly-halves: Dan Biggar; Rhys Patchell; Callum Sheedy||Flyhalves: Billy Burns; Ross Byrne; Jonathan Sexton|
|Centers: Jonathan Davies; Nick Thompkins; Owen Watkin; Johnny Williams||Centers: Bundee Aki; Chris Farrell; Robbie Henshaw; Stuart McCloskey|
|Wings: Josh Adams; Jonah Holmes; George North; Louis Rees-Zammit||Wings: Andrew Conway; Keith Earls; Hugo Keenan; James Lowe|
|Fullbacks: Leigh Halfpenny; Ioan Lloyd; Liam Williams||Fullbacks: Shane Daly; Jacob Stockdale|