Earls deployed to down Dragons

Keith Earls replaces the injured Brian O’Driscoll in Ireland’s midfield for their Six Nations opener against Wales on Sunday.

O’Driscoll will miss the tournament through injury and Earls partners Gordon D’Arcy. Andrew Trimble comes into the team on the left wing, while Connor Murray partners Jonathan Sexton in the halfbacks.

Ireland - 15 -Rob Kearney (UCD/Leinster), 14 – Tommy Bowe (Ospreys), 13 – Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster), 12 – Gordon D’Arcy (Lansdowne/Leinster), 11 – Andrew Trimble (Ballymena/Ulster), 10 – Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster), 9 – Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster), 8 – Jamie Heaslip (Naas/Leinster), 7 – Sean O’Brien (Clontarf/Leinster), 6 – Stephen Ferris (Dungannon/Ulster), 5 – Paul O’Connell (c) (Young Munster/Munster), 4 – Donncha O’Callaghan (Cork Constitution/Munster), 3 – Mike Ross (Clontarf/Leinster), 2 – Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster), 1 – Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster)
Subs: 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 – Fergus McFadden (Old Belvedere/Leinster)