• Lydiate to start for Wales against Ireland

    Dan Lydiate will make a long-awaited start for Wales against an Ireland side featuring CJ Stander at No 8 in Sunday’s Six Nations clash.

    It will be Lydiate’s first start for Wales since November 2018, but he has been rewarded for strong domestic form, and will complete a back row with Justin Tipuric and Taulupe Faletau.

    ‘We are looking forward to kicking off our campaign this weekend and putting into action two really good training weeks,’ said Wales head coach Wayne Pivac.

    ‘We made strides forward through the autumn and we are looking to take that into Sunday and into this tournament. The Six Nations is a fantastic tournament and is important for us rugby wise but it is important for so much more this year.

    ‘It is important for communities across the country and we want to play our part and give everyone something to look forward to and to get excited about on the weekend.

    Meanwhile, Ireland coach Andy Farrell has named a strong side that will be captained by flyhalf Jonathan Sexton.

    Wales: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Louis Rees-Zammit, 13 George North, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tomos Williams, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones
    Subs: 16 Elliot Dee, 17 Rhodri Jones, 18 Leon Brown, 19 Will Rowlands, 20 Josh Navidi, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 Nick Tompkins

    Ireland: 15 Hugo Keenan, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 James Lowe, 10 Jonathan Sexton (c), 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Tadhg Beirne, 3 Andrew Porter, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Cian Healy
    Subs: 16 Ronan Kelleher, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Will Connors, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Jordan Larmour

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    Craig Lewis