Tadhg Furlong and Iain Henderson ruled for Ireland in Six Nations

Ireland will have to make-do without key men Tadhg Furlong and Iain Henderson against Wales in the Six Nations on Saturday, after both failed to recover from respective hamstring injuries in time. 

Tighthead prop Furlong went off against Italy after just four minutes two weeks ago having pulled up, while lock Henderson remained off at half-time with what head coach Joe Schmidt described as a “precautionary measure”.

Neither of the British and Irish Lions are involved for the visit of Wales, however, and in their places, James Ryan has recovered from injury to regain his spot in the second row alongside Devin Toner, while prop Andrew Porter will make his first Six Nations start, having only been converted from the loosehead side of the scrum to tighthead last season.

The 22-year-old impressed against Italy in Round 2, and has fought off competition from Munster prop John Ryan, who was the go-to replacement option for Furlong over the last season-and-a-half.

Elsewhere, centre Robbie Henshaw is absent as expected due to his season-ending shoulder injury, and in his place Munster’s Chris Farrell comes in for his Six Nations debut, partnering Connacht’s Bundee Aki in midfield.

In the backrow, Dan Leavy starts again at openside flanker in the continued absence of Sean O’Brien and Josh van der Flier. Peter O’Mahony maintain his place while CJ Stander reverts to the starting XV in place of Jack Conan, who drops down to the bench.

Cian Healy has won his selection battle with Jack McGrath to start at loosehead, while on the bench Fergus McFadden replaces Jordan Larmour.

Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray begin at fly-half and scrum-half once more, as do Keith Earls and Jacob Stockdale on the wings and Rob Kearney at full-back.

Ireland team to play Wales: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Johnny Sexton, 9 Conor Murray; 1 Cian Healy, 2 Rory Best (c), 3 Andrew Porter, 4 Devin Toner, 5 James Ryan, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 7 Dan Leavy, 8 CJ Stander.

Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 John Ryan, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Fergus McFadden.