D’Arcy and O’Connell back for Ireland

Updated: February 6, 2014


Paul O’Connell and Gordon D’Arcy return to the Irish line up for their all important clash with Six Nations Champions Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

The Irish captain O’Connell has recovered from a chest infection that kept him out of last weeks win over the Scots while D’Arcy moves alongside O’Driscoll in the centre at the expense of Luke Marshall. D’Arcy and O’Driscoll will pair up for a 53rd time and will look to punch holes in midfield and create some outside space for the 2 Kearney’s and Trimble. Williams and Roberts against D’Arcy and O’Driscoll should prove a quality match-up.

The battle at the breakdown could very well decide the game and should be an intriguing battle as Heaslip, Henry and O’Mahoney go up against Warburton, Lydiate and Feletau with Tipuric lying in wait on the bench.

Murray and Sexton will be the halfback pairing and will be hoping the forwards provide some quick clean ball which enabling Sexton to control the game effectively in the Irish favour with his sound decision making.

History suggests Wales will win in Dublin as the champions have defeated their opponents on 65 occasions to Ireland’s 48 and in Dublin adding to that Wales have won 27 times in Dublin to the same amount by the hosts.

Wales came away from the Aviva in 2012 win a narrow 23-21 win however last season Ireland turned the tables on the champions with a stunning 30-22 victory at the Millennium Stadium.

Whatever the outcome it’s sure to be a thrilling encounter and quite possibly one that decides the fate of weather Wales deliver a third consecutive Six Nations title.