Heaslip returns for Ireland to face Wales in Cardiff

Six Nations Championship leaders Ireland have named their team to play Wales in Cardiff at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday with Jamie Heaslip returning to the side.

Ireland Number 8 Heaslip returns from injury to face Wales who have put themselves back in contention for the title with a victory over France.

Heaslip has recovered from fracturing three vertebrae in his back and comes in to replace Jordi Murphy.

Elsewhere in the team Johnny Sexton has recovered from a hamstring and starts in the same line up that Ireland beat France in Dublin with last month.

Jared Payne and Sean O’Brien have been passed fit after they were both concussed in the match against England.

Captain Paul O’Connell will lead the team as usual but this will be his 100th Test cap.

Ireland

Rob Kearney (Leinster); Tommy Bowe (Ulster), Jared Payne (Ulster), Robbie Henshaw (Connacht), Simon Zebo (Munster); Johnny Sexton (Racing Metro), Conor Murray (Munster); Jack McGrath (Leinster), Rory Best (Ulster), Mike Ross (Leinster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Paul O’Connell (Munster, capt), Peter O’Mahoney (Munster), Sean O’Brien (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster).

Replacements: Sean Cronin (Leinster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Martin Moore (Leinster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Ian Madigan (Leinster), Felix Jones (Munster).

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