Fergus McFadden comes in to replace Keith Earls for Wales showdown
THERE has been a change to the Ireland team to play Wales this weekend in the RBS 6 Nations Championship. Fergus McFadden has moved into the outside centre position in place of Keith Earls who has been ruled out due to personal reasons.
McFadden moves into the starting XV from the replacements and his spot is taken by the uncapped David Kearney, who played last weekend for the O2 Ireland Wolfhounds team.
Speaking at a press conference at the Aviva Stadium today, Ireland Team Manager Michael Kearney explained: "There has been one late change to the Irish team, Fergus McFadden has come in as a replacement for Keith Earls, who has been ruled out due to personal reasons. Unfortunately Keith's baby daughter has been taken ill and is in hospital as we speak. The nature of the illness is unclear, however I did speak to Keith this morning and he was hopeful and optimistic that the baby would get home sometime over the weekend.
"The decision was taken following a conversation with Declan (Kidney) and Keith yesterday and it was thought that it was in the best interests of Keith and his partner and their families that Keith remains in Limerick for the weekend. Fergus comes in, instead of Keith, and David Kearney has taken Fergus' place on the replacements bench."
Sunday's match will represent McFadden's third start in the RBS 6 Nations, following two caps on the right wing against Italy and France last season. The 22-year-old Kearney joins his older brother Rob and fellow uncapped player Peter O'Mahony in the match day 22.
Ireland Team & Replacements (v Wales, RBS 6 Nations Championship 2012, Aviva Stadium, Sunday, February 5th, kick-off 3pm):
15 - Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster)
14 - Tommy Bowe (Ospreys)
13 - Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)
12 - Gordon D'Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster)
11 - Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster)
10 - Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary's College/Leinster)
9 - Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster)
1 - Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
2 - Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster)
3 - Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster)
4 - Donncha O'Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster)
5 - Paul O'Connell (Young Munster/Munster) Captain
6 - Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster)
7 - Sean O'Brien (Clontarf/Leinster)
8 - Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster)
16 - Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster)
17 - Tom Court (Malone/Ulster)
18 - Donnacha Ryan (Shannon/Munster)
19 - Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster)*
20 - Eoin Reddan (Lansdowne/Leinster)
21 - Ronan O'Gara (Cork Constitution/Munster)
22 - David Kearney (Lansdowne/Leinster)*