Peter O'Mahony will start for Ireland against Wales in Six Nations opener

Crunch clash takes place at 3pm this Sunday
Peter O'Mahony will start for Ireland against Wales in Six Nations opener

Munster stalwart Peter O'Mahony starts for Ireland against Wales. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

PETER O'Mahony will fly the Cork flag in Ireland's Guinness Six Nations opener against Wales on Sunday.

It's a crucial game for Andy Farrell's side, away to a side that have struggled for form and confidence in recent months.

Johnny Sexton will captain the side as he competes in his 12th Six Nations and second as captain. He is joined in the half-backs by Conor Murray who is one of five players in squad who played in Ireland’s last Six Nations victory in Cardiff in 2013, including Sexton, Cian Healy, O’Mahony and Keith Earls).

Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose are partnered in midfield, their first test start together since the 2019 World Cup quarte-final. Hugo Keenan is selected at fullback with support on the wings from Keith Earls and James Lowe, who makes his Six Nations debut.

Healy will make 50th Six Nations appearance, is joined in the front row by Rob Herring and Andrew Porter. Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan form the lock partnership with Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander named in the backrow.

TV coverage on Sunday, with the game starting at 3pm, is on Virgin and BBC Northern Ireland.

IRELAND (v Wales):

15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD).

14. Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster).

13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD).

12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers).

11. James Lowe (Leinster).

10. Jonathan Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College).

9. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen).

1. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf).

2. Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch).

3. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD).

4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne).

5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD).

6. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution).

7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD).

8. CJ Stander (Munster/Shannon).

Replacements:

16. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne).

17. Dave Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians).

18. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf).

19. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy).

20. Will Connors (Leinster/UCD).

21. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster).

22. Billy Burns (Ulster).

23. Jordan Larmour (Leinster/St Mary’s College).

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