The Season Ticket
Six Nations | Beirne and Lowe handed starts against Wales
Tadhg Beirne and James Lowe have both been named in Ireland's starting team for Sunday's 2021 Guinness Six Nations opener against Wales in Cardiff.
Beirne joins James Ryan in the second row, with Cian Healy, Rob Herring and Andrew Porter earning starts in the first row.
"It's always an opportunity, any time you get to put the jersey on. Tadhg will be like everyone else, he’ll want to perform for himself, but for the team first," Ireland coach Andy Farrell said.
Lowe, who won two caps in November's Autumn Nations Cup, gets the nod ahead of Jordan Larmour after returning from the injury he suffered in the defeat against England. The New Zealand born Leinster star will line up alongside Hugo Keenan and Keith Earls in the back three.
"He's (Lowe) a great player, who is right for this game. When you select a side, first and foremost you are thinking what’s right for the side," Farrell said.
"He’s been in great form (in training). He’s been seamless in getting back into action."
Elsewhere, Garry Ringrose partners Robbie Henshaw in midfield, with Bundee Aki and Chris Farrell being named among the replacements. Unsurprisingly, captain Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray will renew their partnership at half-back.
Josh Van Der Flier, Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander make up the back row.
Larmour, Tadhg Furlong, Dave Kilcoyne, Iain Henderson, Ronan Kelleher, Will Connors, Jamison-Gibson Park and Billy Burns are the replacements.
Wales manager Wayne Pivac has also named his team for the clash at the Principality Stadium, with George North named at centre and Dan Lydiate set to make his first international start since November 2018.
15: Hugo Keenan
14: Keith Earls
13: Garry Ringrose
12: Robbie Henshaw
11: James Lowe
10: Johnny Sexton
9: Conor Murray
1: Cian Healy
2: Rob Herring
3: Andrew Porter
4: Tadhg Beirne
5: James Ryan
6: Peter O’Mahony
7: Josh Van Der Flier
8: CJ Stander
16: Ronan Kelleher
17: Dave Kilcoyne
18: Tadhg Furlong
19: Iain Henderson
20: Will Connors
21: Jamison-Gibson Park
22: Billy Burns
23: Jordan Larmour
15. Leigh Halfpenny 14. Louis Rees-Zammit 13. George North 12. Johnny Williams 11. Hallam Amos 10. Dan Biggar 9. Tomos Williams
1. Wyn Jones 2. Ken Owens 3. Tomas Francis 4. Adam Beard 5. Alun Wyn Jones (captain) 6. Dan Lydiate 7. Justin Tipuric 8. Taulupe Faletau
16. Elliot Dee 17. Rhodri Jones 18. Leon Brown 19. Will Rowlands 20. Josh Navidi 21. Gareth Davies 22. Callum Sheedy 23. Nick Tompkins
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