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Warburton to face Ireland on Friday

8th March 2017

Cardiff Blues' Sam Warburton has retained his place on the blindside for Wales' RBS Six Nations clash with Ireland on Friday (KO 8.05pm)

Head coach Rob Howley has named an unchanged matchday squad, with Warburton making his fourth start of the championship.

Warburton will line-up in the back-row alongside Ross Moriarty and Justin Tipuric, who wins his 50th international cap.

Alun Wyn Jones will captain the side, as Wales look to bounce back from their 29-13 defeat to Scotland in Round Three.

Howley believes Friday night is a big opportunity for his side to prove themselves following the defeat at BT Murrayfield:

“We felt it was important the same group of players had the opportunity to go out and perform on Friday so we have named an unchanged match-day squad.

“Friday night is an opportunity for us.  There is a lot of experience in our group and you don’t become a bad team overnight. We want to show what we can do and that experience will be very important this week.

“We know we need to be more clinical and we need to execute better under pressure and we have been working hard on that during the last few weeks."

Wales team to face Ireland: Leigh Halfpenny (Toulon); George North (Northampton Saints), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets), Scott Williams (Scarlets), Liam Williams (Scarlets); Dan Biggar (Ospreys), Rhys Webb (Ospreys); Rob Evans (Scarlets), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs)Jake Ball (Scarlets), Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, capt)Sam Warburton (Cardiff Blues)Justin Tipuric (Ospreys), Ross Moriarty (Gloucester Rugby)
Replacements: Scott Baldwin (Ospreys), Nicky Smith (Ospreys)Samson Lee (Scarlets), Luke Charteris (Bath)Taulupe Faletau (Bath)Gareth Davies (Scarlets)Sam Davies (Ospreys), Jamie Roberts (Harlequins)