Craig Gilroy to make Ireland start

Declan Kidney
© PA Photos
Ireland coach Declan Kidney names Craig Gilroy in his side for their Six Nations opener against Wales on Saturday.

Ireland coach Declan Kidney will hand Ulster winger Craig Gilroy his first Six Nations start in their opener against Wales on Saturday.

Gilroy, who is regarded as one of the best young talents in the country, made his debut for Ireland in November's win over Argentina.

Leinster's Sean O'Brien has also returned to the team in the flanker position, but there is surprisingly no room for Chris Henry, despite his impressive form this season.

Ireland, who lost to Wales last time out, will attempt to open their campaign with victory against a side that has lost their last seven Test matches.

Ireland: Kearney; Gilroy, O'Driscoll, D'Arcy, Zebo; Sexton, Murray; Healy, Best, Ross; McCarthy, Ryan; O'Mahony, O'Brien, Heaslip

Replacements: Cronin, Kilcoyne, Fitzpatrick, Henry, O'Callaghan, Reddan, O'Gara, Earls

Declan Kidney
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