There are three changes to the Ireland side which was defeated by Wales last time they lined up in the Rugby World Cup 2011.
With Brian O’Driscoll injured, Keith Earls will start at centre with Gordon D’Arcy, while Andrew Trimble comes into the left wing position.
Jonathan Sexton will play at ten, though the experienced Ronan O’Gara is on the bench should Ireland need a replacement at fly half. The competitive half back berth is filled by Conor Murray.
The Irish pack, so often a strength for the men in green in recent seasons, remains absolutely unchanged from their last comepetitive fixture, and second row Paul O’Connell shall skipper the Irish team once more.
Peter O’Mahony, named as a replacement, is the only uncapped player to make it into the 22 man squad for the RBS 6 Nations curtain raiser.
Ireland Starting XV to Face Wales RBS 6 Nations 2012
- 15 – Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
- 14 – Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
- 13 – Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster)
- 12 – Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
- 11 – Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
- 10 – Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
- 9 – Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
- 1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
- 2 – Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
- 3 – Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
- 4 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
- 5 – Paul O’Connell (Young Munster/Munster) Captain
- 6 – Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
- 7 – Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
- 8 – Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)
- 16 – Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
- 17 – Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
- 18 – Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
- 19 – Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)*
- 20 – Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
- 21 – Ronan O’Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
- 22 – Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
* denotes uncapped player.
Ireland v Wales will kick-off at 15:00 GMT (16:00 CET) on Sunday 5th February 2012, at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland. Full RBS 6 Nations Fixture schedule for 2012 can be found by clicking here.