O'Brien back for Ireland as Beirne makes Six Nations bow

O'Brien back for Ireland as Beirne makes Six Nations bow

Tadhg Beirne will make his Six Nations debut for Ireland in the second row in Saturday's game when Wales will be hoping to claim the Grand Slam and Joe Schmidt's side have an outside chance of winning the Championship.

Beirne, who replaces the injured Iain Henderson in the engine room, played for Welsh region Scarlets for two seasons before returning to Ireland to earn a place in the Test side.

Rory Best will lead the traditional eve of match Captain's Run at the Principality Stadium.

Joey Carbery misses out due to a hamstring injury so Connacht's Carty covers fly-half from the bench.

Kearney has overcome a calf injury to take position at full-back pushing Jordan Larmour to the bench.

Jones said on Thursday that Wales were "starting to look a bit tired" after making "more tackles than anyone else in the tournament", and were facing an Ireland side "that seems to be peaking at the right time".

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"If it was me, I would be concentrating on playing Scotland".

"With that combination I do think he's as ready as we can get him to be at this stage".

Beirne is one of three changes to the Ireland team who beat France last week.

Wales are bidding for a third Grand Slam under Gatland - it would be a record for any Five or Six Nations coach if his players accomplish it - and also leave them in great shape six months before their World Cup challenge in Japan.

Ireland - 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Cian Healy.

Niall Scannell and Dave Kilcoyne have been named among the replacements.

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