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Rugby Union: Fergus McFadden to Replace Keith Earls at Centre for Ireland in RBS 6 Nations 2012 Opener with Wales

Ireland have made a change to their starting XV to face Wales in this Sunday’s RBS 6 Nations 2012 clash after centre Keith Earls withdrew from the squad for personal reasons.

Earls will be replaced by Fergus McFadden at outside centre after the player’s young daughter was taken ill this week.

Ireland Team Manager Michael Kearney, explained:

“There has been one late change to the Irish team, Fergus McFadden has come in as a replacement for Keith Earls, who has been ruled out due to personal reasons. Unfortunately Keith’s baby daughter has been taken ill and is in hospital as we speak. The nature of the illness is unclear, however I did speak to Keith this morning and he was hopeful and optimistic that the baby would get home sometime over the weekend.

“The decision was taken following a conversation with Declan (Kidney) and Keith yesterday and it was thought that it was in the best interests of Keith and his partner and their families that Keith remains in Limerick for the weekend. Fergus comes in, instead of Keith, and David Kearney has taken Fergus’ place on the replacements bench.”

McFadden has come into the starting XV from the bench, allowing uncapped David Kearney – younger brother of starting full back Rob Kearney – to be called into the squad of 22as a replacement.

Ireland Starting XV v Wales – RBS 6 Nations 2012 (Revised)

  • 15 – Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
  • 14 – Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
  • 13 – Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
  • 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 – David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)*

* Denotes uncapped player.

Ireland v Wales, RBS 6 Nations 2012, will kick-off at 15:00 GMT (16:00 CET) on the afternoon of Sunday February 5th 2012, at Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland.

For a full RBS 6 Nations 2012 Fixture Schedule, please click here.

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Stories from the Sport Desk at The Global Herald.

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