Heaslip looks ahead to Wales clash as Irish team announced

LEINSTER and Ireland star Jamie Heaslip has been looking ahead to Ireland’s opening Six Nations clash with Wales.

The Naas man is included in the Ireland team to play Wales in the RBS 6 Nations Championship on Sunday, February 5 in Aviva Stadium.

There are three changes to the side that lined out against the same opposition in Ireland’s last game in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Keith Earls will start at centre alongside Gordon D’Arcy with Andrew Trimble coming into the team on the left wing. In the half-backs Jonathan Sexton will win his 25th cap and he is partnered by Conor Murray.

The pack is unchanged from the last game with Paul O’Connell wearing the captain’s armband. The uncapped Peter O’Mahony is named in the replacements.

IRELAND Team & Replacements (v Wales, RBS 6 Nations Championship 2012, Aviva Stadium, Sunday, February 5th, kick-off 3pm):

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)

Replacements:

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)