Schmidt’s charges kept alive their hopes of making a successful title defence when they saw off Frannce in Dublin last Sunday, but the coach has now made three changes to his side as they attempt to derail Wales’ hopes of winning the Grand Slam.
The major development is the inclusion of Tadhg Beirne in the second row in place of Iain Henderson. Beirne is well know on the Welsh club circuit having made his name at Scarlets before his switch to Munster last summer.
The other alteration in the pack is at openside where Sean O’Brien, dropped for the fixture against the French following a poor show against Italy, is recalled after Josh van der Flier picked up an injury in the round four win.
Ireland’s other change comes at full-back. Rob Kearney has been originally chosen to face France but he pulled up lame in the warm-up and was replaced by Jordan Larmour.
(Continue reading below…)
Kearney has now been declared fit to take his place in the starting team, with Larmour reverting to a place on the bench.
Ireland team (v Wales)
15. Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster) 89 caps
14. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 76 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 19 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 16 caps
11. Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 18 caps
10. Jonathan Sexton (St Marys College/Leinster) 82 caps (vc)
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 71 caps
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) March 14, 2019
1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 87 caps
2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) 116 caps (c)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 32 caps
4. Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster) 4 caps
5. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 16 caps
6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 56 caps (vc)
7. Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster) 55 caps
8. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 30 caps
16. Niall Scannell (Dolphin/Munster) 13 caps
17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 28 caps
18. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 13 caps
19. Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) 11 caps
20. Jack Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster) 13 caps
21. Kieran Marmion (Galwegians/Connacht) 24 caps
22. Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht) 2 caps
23. Jordan Larmour (St Mary’s College/Leinster) 12 caps
Tell us what you think about the Rugby World Cup and you could win £100