Heaslip back to face Wales

Jamie Heaslip's inclusion in the starting XV is the only change to the Ireland side for their Six Nations match against Wales on Saturday.

The eighthman, who sustained three cracked vertebrae in their second-round match with France and subsequently missed Ireland’s 19-9 win over England, slots straight back in the team with Jordi Murphy dropping to the bench as cover and Tommy O'Donnell missing out altogether.  

Elsewhere, flyhalf Johnny Sexton has recovered from the hamstring injury he picked up against England to resume his halfback partnership with Conor Murray, while outside centre Jared Payne is fit to start after suffering mild concussion symptoms.

Captain Paul O’Connell will earn his 100th Test cap for Ireland and will be hoping to mark the milestone with an away victory to keep alive his side's hope of a Grand Slam.

Ireland – 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Rory Best, 1 Jack McGrath.
Subs: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Jordi Murphy 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Felix Jones.

Photo: Mark Leech/Getty Images

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Mariette Adams