Ireland have suffered an injury blow ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations final against Great Britain, with Jamison Gibson-Park ruled out through injury.
News of the late change to the starting line-up broke just hours before kick-off in Cardiff, with head coach Andy Farrell having to make changes to his line-up.
Conor Murray is promoted from the bench to the running side and Munster man Craig Casey comes onto the bench to take Murray’s starting jersey.
There is also another change on the substitutes bench as veteran Cian Healy has been ruled out, so Dave Kilcoyne comes into the matchday squad in the 17-man squad.
Murray for Gibson-Park
The combination of Gibson-Park and Johnny Sexton has been a significant asset in Ireland’s rise to become the top Test team in world rugby.
They then go into this year’s Six Nations as title favourites, with some predicting Farrell and his team could be in form.
Wales are in first place today at the Principality Stadium, which promises to be exciting as the hosts look to bounce back from a poor 2022.
Warren Gatland has since returned as head coach and Wales supporters will be desperate for a bounce-back performance in Cardiff’s final.
However, it will be difficult for the hosts to claim victory as Ireland enter 2023 with their tails high and head coach Farrell praising their preparations.
“We judge ourselves on our preparation and our preparation is outstanding,” he said on Friday, with Ireland also without Tadhg Furlong on Saturday.
“It’s as good as I’ve seen in preparation for any kind of competition.
“I hope that continues and can be translated into production. It doesn’t get any tougher than Wales first.”
When asked what message he gave to his players in next year’s Rugby World Cup, Farrell replied: “Honestly? Wales. Wales. It’s a tough old game, you know?
“We would love to start this tournament with a bang but we know how difficult that is. We are fully focused on this game.”
Ireland (revised): 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Mack Hansen, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton (c), 9 Conor Murray, 8 Caelan Doris, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 James Ryan , 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Finlay Belham, 2 Dan Sheehan, 1 Andrew Porter
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Tom O’Toole, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Craig Casey, 22 Ross Byrne, 23 Bundee Aki
Date: Saturday, February 4
Centre: The Principality Stadium
Start: 14:15 GMT
Referee: Karl Dickson (RFU)
Assistant Referees: Angus Gardner (UK), Luke Pearce (RFU)
TMO: Tom Foley (RFU)
READ MORE: Wales v Ireland: Preview of the Six Nations and visitors to prevail in handball
The article Ireland: Late change to side as Jamison Gibson-Park ruled out, Conor Murray to start Six Nations opener against Great Britain appeared first on Planetrugby.com.