Iain Henderson out of Ireland's clash with Wales as Chris Farrell handed Six Nations debut
Fermanagh man Chris Farrell will make his Six Nations debut at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 2.15pm).
The Munster centre is in to replace Robbie Henshaw, who will miss the rest of the tournament after sustaining a shoulder injury during the drubbing of Italy last time out.
Ulster duo Rory Best and Jacob Stockdale hold their places in the side but Iain Henderson has missed out on a place in the panel, struggling with a hamstring injury picked up against the Italians.
Tadhg Furlong also failed in his bid to return from a hamstring problem. The loss of the in-from duo will come as a massive blow to Joe Schmidt.
"Iain was definitely the closer of the two," said Schmidt. "Iain could probably play on Saturday but he wasn't able to complete training today (Thursday) and we're not going to risk him. I just don't think it's worth it with what's coming up.
"You don't want to put a player at risk of further injury. He couldn't definitely play next weekend and certainly the weekend after that."
Ulster's John Cooney, who was called into the panel this week, does not make the matrch-day squad.
Ireland Team Announcement v Wales. Joe Schmidt and Cian Healy at the team announcement press conference.Posted by IrishRugby on Thursday, February 22, 2018
Cian Healy is restored to the loosehead prop berth with Jack McGrath reverting to the bench.
CJ Stander returns to the number 8 with Jack Conan among the replacements.
There is no place on the bench for Jordan Larmour who is replaced in the matchday 23 by Leinster team-mate Fergus McFadden.
"We're going to have to demonstrate that we have a strength of squad and we are excited at the prospect of doing that," said Joe Schmidt.
Ireland team to face Wales
(15-9): Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray
(1-8): Cian Healy, Rory Best, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, James Ryan, Peter O'Mahony, Dan Leavy, CJ Stander.
Replacement (16-23): Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, John Ryan, Quinn Roux, Jack Conan, Kieran Marmion, Joey Carbery, Fergus McFadden.
Belfast Telegraph Digital