6N: Ireland change 5 for Wales test
DUBLIN (AP) Prop Tadhg Furlong and lock Iain Henderson were ruled out with hamstring issues from playing for Six Nations leader Ireland against Wales at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.
Both were hurt in the big win over Italy in the second round nearly two weeks ago. The Irish insisted this week they were on track to regain full fitness, but both failed.
They were among five changes, three enforced by injuries, to the lineup which crushed Italy 56-19.
Andrew Porter will make his second test start in place of Furlong, James Ryan returns from a groin injury to deputise for Henderson, and Chris Farrell takes over center from Robbie Henshaw, who suffered a tournament-ending right shoulder injury scoring his second try against the Italians.
Also, loosehead prop Cian Healy swapped with Jack McGrath, and No. 8 CJ Stander with Jack Conan.
In the reserves, the more experienced back Fergus McFadden returns for newcomer Jordan Larmour.
Porter showed his mettle against Italy when Furlong limped off after only three minutes.
Ryan proved he has what it takes when he started against France in Paris in the opening round.
Ireland hasn’t won its last three matches against Wales in the Six Nations, but it also has not lost a championship match at home in more than five years.
Ireland: Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; CJ Stander, Dan Leavy, Peter O’Mahony, Devin Toner, James Ryan, Andrew Porter, Rory Best (captain), Cian Healy. Reserves: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, John Ryan, Quinn Roux, Jack Conan, Kieran Marmion, Joey Carbery, Fergus McFadden.