Tommy Bowe Ireland
- News, Rugby

Rugby | Joe Schmidt names unchanged XV for Wales clash

Joe Schmidt has kept faith with the same fifteen that beat France last week for Ireland’s clash with Wales in Cardiff on Friday night.

Tommy Bowe has been recalled to the bench in place of the injured Andrew Trimble, after being left out of the last two matchday squads following his disappointing cameo against Scotland in Ireland’s opening defeat at Murrayfield.

Injury also keeps Jared Payne out of the matchday 23, and there’s no place for Craig Gilroy on the bench.

Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton will continue their partrnership at out-half, and Schmidt will be hoping that the duo carry their scintillating performances from the France game into the crucial clash with Wales on Friday evening.

Perhaps surprisingly, Rob Howley has decided to stick with the Wales team that was beaten 29-13 by Scotland last time out.

“We felt it was important the same group of players had the opportunity to go out and perform on Friday, so we have named an unchanged match-day squad,” Howley explained.

“Friday night is an opportunity for us.

“There is a lot of experience in our group, and you don’t become a bad team overnight.

“We want to show what we can do, and that experience will be very important this week.

“We know we need to be more clinical and we need to execute better under pressure, and we have been working hard on that during the last few weeks.

“Ireland are one of the in-form sides in world rugby and are coached very well and packed with experience, and there are a number of interesting match-ups across both teams.

“We always say we are fortunate to have the best supporters in the world, and we are eager to put in a performance for them under the lights at the Principality Stadium on Friday.”


Ireland: (15-9) R Kearney; K Earls, G Ringrose, R Henshaw, S Zebo; J Sexton, C Murray; (1-8) J McGrath, R Best (capt), T Furlong; D Ryan, D Toner; CJ Stander, S O’Brien, J Heaslip.

Reps: (16-23) N Scannell, C Healy, J Ryan, I Henderson, P O’Mahony, K Marmion, P Jackson, T Bowe.

Wales: (15-9) Leigh Halfpenny; George North, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Liam Williams; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; (1-8)Rob Evans, Ken Owens, Tomas Francis; Jake Ball, Alun Wyn Jones; Sam Warburton, Justin Tipuric, Ross Moriarty.

Reps: (16-23) Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris, Taulupe Faletau, Gareth Davies, Sam Davies, Jamie Roberts.

David Smith

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