The Left Wing: Huge blow for Ireland with Furlong out – Sinéad Kissane and Rúaidhrí O’Connor on the Ireland team to play Wales

Finlay Bealham, pictured during Ireland rugby squad training at The Campus in Quinta da Lago, Portugal, will replace Tadhg Furlong in the Ireland starting XV to face Wales. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Ireland have been dealt a major setback ahead of their Six Nations opener against Wales with the news that Tadhg Furlong is out with a calf issue.

On the latest Left Wing podcast, Sinéad Kissane is joined by the Irish Independent’s Rúaidhrí O’Connor who is with the Ireland team training base in Portugal.

Rúaidhrí says there was no indication that Furlong would be missing out but says Andy Farrell and the Irish squad are still bullish about their chances with Connacht’s Finlay Bealham coming in.

The Ireland team vs Wales is: H Keenan, M Hansen, G Ringrose, S McCloskey, J Lowe, J Sexton (C), J Gibson-Park, A Porter, D Sheehan, F Bealham, T Beirne, J Ryan, P O'Mahony, J van der Flier, C Doris. Replacements: R Herring, C Healy, T O'Toole, I Henderson, J Conan, C Murray, R Byrne, B Aki.

Join us again on Friday for the view from Wales on their chances against Ireland, whilst on Saturday, just after the final whistle, catch up with Sinéad, Cian and Rúaidhrí for their post-match analysis.

If you want to get in touch with the show, email your questions and comments to, or on Twitter @SlatteryWill @lukefitz11 @RuaidhriOC @CianTracey1 and @SinéadKissane.

Listen and follow on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.