McFadden Replaces Earls while Wales Name Team

Leinster's Fergus McFadden replaces Keith Earls at 13 for Ireland. (c) Ken Bohane.

In Irish team news, Keith Earls has withdrawn from the Wales match on Sunday. Earls’ first child was born during the week, and has fallen ill so the Munster wing has stayed in Limerick. Fergus McFadden comes in at 13 and Dave Kearney is promoted to the bench. Best wishes go to Earls and his family.

Meanwhile, Warren Gatland has named his team to face Ireland on Sunday. Outhalf Rhys Priestlan and centre Jamie Roberts have recovered from their knee injuries to be chosen in the starting fifteen. Elsewhere, 21-year-old right wing Alex Cuthbert gets his second cap, with George North taking the number 11 jersey that is synonomus with the retired Shane Williams.

Saracens prop Rhys Gills gets his first Six Nations start in place of the injured Gethin Jenkins. With Matthew Rees also on the injury list, Huw Bennett wins his 50th cap at hooker. Ryan Jones comes into the back-row with blindside Dan Lydiate out injured. Mike Phillips returns at scrumhalf. Here’s the Wales team:

Wales team to face Ireland

1. Rhys Gill

2. Huw Bennett

3. Adam Jones

4. Bradley Davies

5. Ian Evans

6. Ryan Jones

7. Sam Warburton (capt.)

8. Toby Faletau

9. Mike Phillips

10. Rhys Priestland

11. George North

12. Jamie Roberts

13. Jonathan Davies

14. George North

15. Leigh Halfpenny

Subs

16. Ken Owens, 17. Paul James, 18.  Andy Powell, 19. Jason Tipuric, 20. Lloyd Williams, 21. James Hook, 22. Scott Williams.

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Photo courtesy:  Ken Bohane.

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