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Mack Hansen and Bundee Aki are both starting for Ireland against Wales on Saturday, kick-off time 2:15 pm. Both could be seen as surprising.
— Joe Naughton (@JosephNaughton4) February 3, 2022
Andy Farrell has named the match day 23 to kick start Ireland’s 2022 Guinness Six Nations Championship campaign against Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.
The 23 includes one new cap and two players set to make their Championship debuts.
Johnny Sexton will captain the team on his 102nd cap for Ireland and his 53rd appearance in the Championship. Sexton is joined at half-back by Jamison Gibson Park while Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose link up in the centre for a fifteenth time for Ireland.
The uncapped Connacht wing Mack Hansen lines out on the left wing with Andrew Conway on the right and Hugo Keenan at fullback starting his seventeenth consecutive Test match.
In the pack, the front row features Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher and Tadhg Furlong with Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan locking down the second row. Caelan Doris, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan are named in the backrow.
In the replacements James Hume and Dan Sheehan are set to make their Championship debuts. They are joined on the bench by Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Ryan Baird, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray and Joey Carbery.
Ireland Team & Replacements (v Wales, Guinness Six Nations, Saturday, February 5, 2:15pm)
15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 16 caps
14. Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 27 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 33 caps
11. Mack Hansen (Connacht) uncapped
10. Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 101 caps CAPTAIN
9. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 12 caps
1. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 40 caps
2. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 16 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 52 caps
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 25 caps
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 40 caps
6. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 12 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 35 caps
8. Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 22 caps
16. Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 2 caps
17. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 112 caps
18. Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 18 caps
19. Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) 6 caps
20. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 79 caps
21. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 92 caps
22. Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 27 caps
23. James Hume (Ulster/Banbridge) 1 cap