Rugby-Australia-born Crawley gets first Ireland start against Wales


  • Rugby
  • Thursday, 22 Feb 2024

Rugby Union - Six Nations Championship - Ireland v Italy - Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland - February 11, 2024 Ireland head coach Andy Farrell before the match REUTERS/Lorraine O'sullivan/ File photo

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ciaran Frawley will get a first start for Ireland after being selected at fullback to face Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday as coach Andy Farrell named a strong team for the Dublin clash.

Peter O’Mahony returns to captain the side as Ireland on Thursday also recalled Bundee Aki, Tadhg Beirne, Tadhg Furlong, Jamison Gibson-Park and Josh van der Flier to the starting lineup.

They had rested several key players for their last game against Italy, which they won 36-0 in Dublin to make it two wins from two games in this year’s championship.

Australia-born Frawley, 26, replaces Hugo Keenan, who has hurt his knee. Frawley made his two previous appearances for Ireland off the bench.

O’Mahony was injured for the last match but takes over the captaincy from Caelan Doris, who remains in the loose forward trio despite injury concerns earlier this week.

Farrell chose a 6-2 split of forwards against backs on the bench as he did for the Six Nations opener when they sent out an emphatic warning of their potential to keep their crown by whipping France 38-17 in Marseille at the start of the month.

The bench split allows Ireland to keep James Ryan, Ryan Baird and Jack Conan in the matchday squad, having all impressed as starters against Italy.

Munster tighthead Oli Jager gets a first call-up among the substitutes and is in line to win his first Ireland cap.

Ireland team:

15-Ciaran Frawley, 14-Calvin Nash, 13-Robbie Henshaw, 12-Bundee Aki, 11-James Lowe, 10-Jack Crowley, 9-Jamison Gibson-Park; 1-Andrew Porter, 2-Dan Sheehan, 3-Tadhg Furlong 4-Joe McCarthy, 5-Tadhg Beirne, 6-Peter O’Mahony (captain), 7- Josh van der Flier, 8-Caealan Doris

Replacements: 16-Ronan Kelleher, 17-Cian Healy, 18-Oli Jager, 19-James Ryan 20-Ryan Baird, 21-Jack Conan, 22-Conor Murray, 23-Stuart McCloskey

(This story has been refiled to change the headline)

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Durban; Editing by xx)

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