Off The Ball
Off The Ball

14.02 5 Feb 2016


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South African-born CJ Stander is to make his Ireland debut on Sunday against Wales.

The Munster captain, who only qualified to play for Ireland last Autumn, starts at blindside flanker against Warren Gatland's side. Stander is joined in the back row by Munster colleague Tommy O'Donnell and Irish vice-captain Jamie Heaslip.

The front row contains players from Leinster, Ulster and Connacht. Captain Rory Best is joined either side by Jack McGrath and Nathan White. An all-Leinster pairing of Mike McCarthy and Devin Toner form the second row.

Despite issues surrounding a possible concussion suffered while in action for Leinster, Johnny Sexton starts at fly-half and is joined by Conor Murray at scrum-half. 

Rob Kearney misses out, as expected, due to injury and is replaced at full-back by Simon Zebo. Keith Earls and Andrew Trimble are named on the wings with Jared Payne and Rob Henshaw resuming their partnership in the centre.

On the bench, Sean Cronin, James Cronin and Tadhg Furlong will be expected to feature in the front row. Donnacha Ryan and Rhys Ruddock will both provide options in the second and back rows. In the backs, Kieran Marmion should feature for the first time in a Six Nations game, while Ian Madigan and Dave Kearney complete the bench.


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