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In the back-line, Gordon D'Arcy and Brian O'Driscoll will partner each other in the centre for a world record 49th time at international level.

Rob Kearney returns to international rugby and starts at full-back to win his 42nd cap with Simon Zebo and Craig Gilroy named on the wings.

Second rows Mike McCarthy and Donnacha Ryan will start a Championship match together for the first time, with McCarthy making his first Six Nations start having featured as a replacement last season.

Sean O'Brien returns to the starting team after missing the November internationals in a back row that includes Peter O'Mahony and Jamie Heaslip, who will captain Ireland in the RBS 6 Nations Championship for the first time.

IRELAND Team & Replacements (v Wales, 2013 RBS 6 Nations Championship, Millennium Stadium, Saturday, February 2, kick-off 1.30pm):

Club/Province/international Caps -

15 - Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster/41)
14 - Craig Gilroy (Dungannon/Ulster/1)
13 - Brian O'Driscoll (UCD/Leinster/120)
12 - Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster/71)
11 - Simon Zebo (Cork Constitution/Munster/3)
10 - Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary's College/Leinster/34)
9 - Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster/14)
1 - Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster/35)
2 - Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster/62)
3 - Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster/24)
4 - Mike McCarthy (Buccaneers/Connacht/6)
5 - Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster/23)
6 - Peter O'Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster/9)
7 - Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster/22)
8 - Jamie Heaslip (Dublin University/Leinster/52) (capt)

Replacements:

16 - Sean Cronin (St. Mary's College/Leinster/23)
17 - David Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster/2)
18 - Declan Fitzpatrick (Dungannon/Ulster/2)
19 - Donncha O'Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster/91)
20 - Chris Henry (Malone/Ulster/4)
21 - Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster/47)
22 - Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster/126)
23 - Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster/34)

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20 June 2018
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