RBS 6 Nations: Paul O'Connell fit to lead Ireland against Wales
Published 06/02/2014 | 13:26
Ireland captain Paul O'Connell has beaten his chest infection in time to face Wales in RBS 6 Nations action in Dublin on Saturday.
The talismanic lock slots in for Dan Tuohy in Joe Schmidt's Ireland squad, with stalwart centre Gordon D'Arcy returning after a stomach bug.
UIster lock Tuohy replaces club-mate Iain Henderson on the bench, in the only other change from the 23 head coach Schmidt fielded in last week's 28-6 Scotland victory.
There is no place for 22-year-old centre Luke Marshall in the match squad, who concedes the 12 shirt to 34-year-old D'Arcy.
Ulster wing Andrew Trimble's try-scoring turn against Scotland has been enough for him to hold off Fergus McFadden, who again takes a seat on the bench.
Leinster duo D'Arcy and Brian O'Driscoll extend their world-record joint caps haul as a centre partnership, for the visit of Warren Gatland's Wales.
Head coach Schmidt has had little need to change his squad, after last week's comfortable three-try victory over Scotland.
The hype surrounding the meeting of O'Driscoll and Gatland, who dropped the 25-year-old centre for the final British and Irish Lions Test, continues.
But Schmidt will be keen to draw a line under that, with Ireland expecting a severe test against the two-time reigning Six Nations champions this weekend.
Ireland team to face Wales in Dublin on Saturday:
R Kearney (Leinster), A Trimble (Ulster), B O'Driscoll, G D'Arcy, D Kearney (all Leinster), J Sexton (Racing Metro), C Murray (Munster), C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross, D Toner (both Leinster), P O'Connell (capt), P O'Mahony (both Munster), C Henry (Ulster), J Heaslip (Leinster).
Replacements: S Cronin, J McGrath, M Moore (all Leinster), D Tuohy (Ulster), T O'Donnell (Munster), I Boss (Leinster), P Jackson (Ulster), F McFadden (Leinster).