Five Changes To Ireland Team For Wales Game

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones with Ireland counterpart Rory Best

That Italy victory truly came at a cost with three Lions - Henshaw, Furlong and Henderson - all picking up knocks.

Kiwi taskmaster coach Joe Schmidt has since been at pains to expand Ireland's attacking blueprint - but to a large extent has also fought to keep that under wraps.

"Tadhg was close as well".

Possible Ireland team: Rob Kearney; Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best (captain), Andrew Porter; James Ryan, Devin Toner; Peter O'Mahony, Dan Leavy, CJ Stander.

Eddie Jones's team, who are seeking an unprecedented third successive Six Nations and have already beaten Wales and Italy, face Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday.

Wales, who now sit third in the table, are the next most likely to win the championship but have only a 16 per cent chance, while Scotland's prospects are rated at one per cent, says QBE.

Cian Healy has won his selection battle with Jack McGrath to start at loosehead, while on the bench Fergus McFadden replaces Jordan Larmour.

That has opened the door for Porter, who impressed when replacing Furlong against the Italians, to make the step up to play in the biggest match of his fledgling four-cap career. "That's not ideal but if you want to learn, what better environment than what will be a really white-hot atmosphere on Saturday".

"It is the first week we have had everyone in the "green" in terms of availability, which is a nice luxury to have and a positive ahead of what is a very important Test match against a very good Ireland side".

Ireland failed to score a try last season in a Test against Wales for only the second time since 1994.

"We're going to have to demonstrate that we have a strength of squad and we are excited at the prospect of doing that", said Joe Schmidt.

Schmidt speaking at today's press conference. We have to be prepared to be pretty physical against them.

"I think the scrum's going to be 50:50".

"So for a player who hasn't been there before, yep, it's a bit more pressure. He's a very talented player", Healy said about his fellow Leinster prop Porter.

"If you look at Ports firstly, over the past year and a half what he's had to take in his stride - changing sides of the scrum, how he's developed that part of his game - it's more exciting than nervous to see what he's going to provide", said Healy.

"He'll be behind Ports, so that's going to be a strong side for us".

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