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John Cooney still among replacements as Conor Murray keeps Ireland number nine shirt for Six Nations clash with Wales

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Conor Murray (left) has again been preferred to John Cooney in Ireland's starting team.

Conor Murray (left) has again been preferred to John Cooney in Ireland's starting team.

©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Conor Murray (left) has again been preferred to John Cooney in Ireland's starting team.

John Cooney has once again been named among the Ireland replacements as Conor Murray retains his place in the Six Nations starting side.

Munster man Murray keeps hold of the number nine jersey despite Cooney's impressive performance from the bench in the championship opener against Scotland.

Ireland host Wales on Saturday (kick-off 2.15pm), when there is again no place for Ulster's Will Addison in the match-day squad.

As expected, Caelan Doris misses out after picking up a head injury in the early stages of last weekend's win, Peter O'Mahony getting the nod to deputise in the back row.

Ulster trio Rob Herring, Iain Henderson and Jacob Stockdale all retain their starting spots, with just one more change to the starting XV.

Garry Ringrose will miss the next two games after undergoing surgery on his thumb, allowing Robbie Henshaw to renew his centre partnership with Bundee Aki.

Stockdale is once again named alongside Andrew Conway and full-back Jordan Larmour in the back three, with Keith Earls returning to take Henshaw's place on the bench.

Tadhg Furlong was helped off the pitch last weekend after his calves cramped, but is fit to play to form a front-row with Cian Healy and Herring.

James Ryan and Iain Henderson will continue in the engine room in front of the familiar looking back-row, O'Mahony joined by Josh van der Flier and CJ Stander.

Max Deegan is in line to make his debut from the bench but it is once again the decision to leave Cooney out of his starting team that will dominate reaction to Andy Farrell's second match-day selection.

Ireland team to play Wales

J Larmour; A Conway, R Henshaw, B Aki, J Stockdale; J Sexton (capt), C Murray; C Healy, R Herring, T Furlong; I Henderson, J Ryan; P O'Mahony, J van der Flier, CJ Stander.

Replacements: R Kelleher, D Kilcoyne, A Porter, D Toner, M Deegan, J Cooney, R Byrne, K Earls

Belfast Telegraph