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Ireland team to face Wales on Sunday announced

Linchpin fly-half Johnny Sexton. Credit: PA

Ireland team to face Wales in Dublin on Sunday:

S Zebo (Munster), A Trimble (Ulster), J Payne (Ulster), R Henshaw (Connacht), K Earls (Munster), J Sexton (Leinster), C Murray (Munster), J McGrath (Leinster), R Best (Ulster, capt), N White (Connacht), D Toner, M McCarthy (both Leinster), CJ Stander, T O'Donnell (both Munster), J Heaslip (Leinster).

Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), J Cronin (Munster), T Furlong (Leinster), D Ryan (Munster), R Ruddock (Leinster), K Marmion (Connacht), I Madigan, D Kearney (both Leinster).

Tipuric rewarded with a start after Wales waiting game

Tipuric starts alongside Sam Warburton and Taulupe Faletau in the back row. Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

It says everything about Wales' plentiful back-row resources that Justin Tipuric has not started a test match in the Six Nations Championship for two years.

The Ospreys openside flanker and British and Irish Lion will end his wait when Wales launch their Six Nations campaign against Ireland on Sunday.

Almost two thirds of his 38 caps have been won off the replacements' bench, shadowing an outstanding Wales back-row.

It's obviously tough, but you have got to look at the quality in our team, the strength in depth of our back-rowers.

If you are on the bench, you are still a big part of the team. I just want to make sure I do the right thing for the team.

Sam is a quality player, and when you play with any player with that quality, you know what type of game they have so you just have to support them.

We know each other's games a lot more now after five years together in the Wales squad. The more time you spend with someone, the more you get to know their game.

– Justin Tipuric, Wales Flanker


James needed to be 'the forgotten man of Welsh rugby'

Tom James gets his first start in a Wales shirt since 2010 on Sunday. Credit: PA

Tom James says that he needed to become "the forgotten man of Welsh rugby" during a rebuilding spell in his rugby career.

The Cardiff Blues wing will make his first Test match appearance for more than five years when Wales launch their Six Nations campaign against Ireland in Dublin on Sunday.

Read more: Tipuric, Evans and James gets starts in Ireland

Wales have played 65 Tests since James won the last of his 10 caps against New Zealand in November 2010.

But two seasons spent with Aviva Premiership club Exeter helped his renaissance before rejoining the Blues last summer and maintaining prodigious try-scoring form.

"I was in the goldfish bowl and needed to get away," James said. "I needed to get away and become the forgotten man of Welsh rugby."

Read more on this over on ITV's Six Nations site.

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