O'Brien back for Ireland, Beirne makes Six Nations bow

Ireland's scrum-half Kieran Marmion passes the ball during the Six Nations international rugby union match between Ireland and England at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin

O'Brien will have Munster duo Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander alongside him in the back row.

Ireland still have an outside chance of winning this year's championship, but would need to beat Wales and hope that Scotland pull off a shock against England.

This will also be the final Six Nations appearance for Rory Best and Ireland will be hoping to give him a ideal send-off.

Rory Best will captain from the front row in between Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong.

Eddie Jones has ramped up the pressure on Wales ahead of their Guinness Six Nation Grand Slam bid by claiming that Warren Gatland's side are "looking tired" and will face an Ireland team who are "peaking" in Cardiff on Saturday.

Beirne, who replaces the injured Iain Henderson in the engine room, played for Welsh region Scarlets for two seasons before returning to Ireland to earn a place in the Test side.

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"Yeah, it is the biggest challenge of his fairly small global career so far (it will be his fifth cap)", said head coach Joe Schmidt.

Schmidt said: "He probably would have liked to have had a bit more game time leading into it but it's just a case of slotting people in". If it was me I'd be concentrating on playing Scotland.

"With that combination I do think he's as ready as we can get him to be at this stage".

Gatland, meanwhile, readily acknowledges Ireland's threat, particularly the one presented by their British and Irish Lions half-backs Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray.

Kieran Marmion has been named on the bench as cover for Conor Murray and Athlone's Jack Carty is also in the replacements once again. Dave Kilcoyne 18. Andrew Porter 19.

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