Ireland vs Wales: James Lowe in for Test debut, Jacob Stockdale remains at full-back
Head coach Andy Farrell makes seven changes to the team which started against France in Paris last time out for Autumn Nations Cup opener vs Wales, as James Lowe, Chris Farrell, Jamison Gibson-Park, Josh van der Flier, Peter O'Mahony, Iain Henderson and Ronan Kelleher come in.
By Michael Cantillon
Last Updated: 11/11/20 1:13pm
Leinster wing James Lowe will make his Ireland debut in Friday's Autumn Nations Cup Test against Wales, while Jacob Stockdale has kept his place at full-back.
New Zealand-born Lowe only became eligible to represent Ireland via residency this month and is brought straight onto the left wing, with Hugo Keenan swapped to the right wing and Stockdale - who faced huge criticism after an error-ridden display in Paris against France - is given another shot at 15.
Andrew Conway has dropped out of the squad altogether, as head coach Andy Farrell makes several changes to the 23-man panel.
In the centres, Chris Farrell is brought in to take Bundee Aki's place and starts alongside Robbie Henshaw, while in the half-backs Jamison Gibson-Park starts ahead of Conor Murray - who is on the bench - alongside skipper Johnny Sexton.
In the forwards, Iain Henderson replaces Tadhg Beirne in the second row, while Josh van der Flier and Peter O'Mahony are brought into the back-row, with Caelan Doris moving to No 8, Will Connors to the bench and CJ Stander dropping out.
There is one further change to the starting team as Ronan Kelleher replaces Rob Herring at hooker, to start alongside Cian Healy and Andrew Porter in the front row.
Among the replacements - in addition to Murray and Connors - inexperienced trio Dave Heffernan, Ed Byrne and Finlay Bealham provide front row cover, Quinn Roux lock cover, uncapped Billy Burns fly-half cover and Keith Earls returns from a back injury to take the number 23 jersey.
Ireland squad to face Wales in Autumn Nations Cup opener (Friday, 7pm kick off)
Ireland: 15 Jacob Stockdale, 14 Hugo Keenan, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Jamison Gibson-Park; 1 Ed Byrne, 2 Ronan Kelleher, 3 Andrew Porter, 4 Iain Henderson, 5 James Ryan, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 7 Josh van der Flier, 8 Caelan Doris.
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Ed Byrne, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Will Connors, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Keith Earls.