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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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