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Gilroy is in running for Ireland place

By Ruaidhri O'Connor

Joe Schmidt looks set to keep faith in the starting XV who beat France two weeks ago when he names his team to face Wales this lunchtime.

With Jared Payne still chasing fitness, the likelihood is that the only change to Friday's match-day 23 for Cardiff will be on the bench where Andrew Trimble misses out with a hand injury.

Craig Gilroy and Andrew Conway are in the running to fill the No 23 jersey in the Ulsterman's absence, but otherwise Schmidt is expected to keep faith in the players who earned four points at the Aviva Stadium.

Rob Kearney has recovered from a groin problem and will be named in the team if he comes through training unscathed.

He'll be joined in the back-three by Keith Earls and Simon Zebo, with Garry Ringrose and Robbie Henshaw in the centre, while Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray will link up at half-back.

Belfast Telegraph


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