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Paul O'Connell and Gordon D'Arcy return to Irish XV to face Wales

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has recalled captain Paul O’Connell and Gordon D’Arcy for the side to face Wales this Saturday.

O’Connell  was ruled out of last weekend's opening-day win over Scotland with a chest infection but has recovered sufficiently to be named to start alongside Devin Toner in the second- row, with Ulster’s Dan Tuohy dropping to the bench.

Gordon D'Arcy has get the nod ahead of Luke Marshall after suffering from a stomach bug last week, though Schmidt has said there is little to choose between the two centres.

Fergus McFadden has been pushing hard for selection all week after making an impact off the bench against the Scots, but Andrew Trimble will continue on the right wing, with Dave Kearney expected to hold onto his position on the left.

Rob Kearney has recovered from a knock that saw him sit out training earlier in the week.

Up front, Cian Healy has also shaken off the knock that kept him out of part of training earlier this week to join battle with Adam Jones alongside Rory Best and Mike Ross.

Ireland teamv Wales: R Kearney; A Trimble, B O'Driscoll, G D'Arcy, D Kearney; J Sexton, C Murray; C Healy, R Best, M Ross; D Toner, P O'Connell; P O'Mahony, C Henry, J Heaslip.

Replacements: S Cronin, J McGrath, M Moore, D Tuohy, T O’Donnell, I Boss, P Jackson, F McFadden.

Online Editors