Farrell set for Six Nations debut

Andrew Porter has been tasked with filling Furlong's sizeable shoes at tighthead while James Ryan is fit again to deputise for Henderson in the second row alongside Leinster team-mate Devin Toner.

But the 22-year-old has already shown signs that where Furlong steamrollers, he can follow. Carrying nearly 40 metres from his own line for Leinster against Ulster in early January, Porter then offloaded to Jamison Gibson-Park before Fergus McFadden finished off the move for...

Replacements: Dee, Jones, Francis, Davies, Tipuric, Davies, Anscombe, North.

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt: "Yes, we're short on experience and we're up against a team welcoming back three Lions while we see three disappear, that's not ideal".

It's reasonable to assume the most important numbers on Saturday will be those on the scoreboard at referee Glen Jackson's final whistle and that both Gatland and Schmidt would rather a victory than any fuss pertaining to personal milestones, particularly in the context of the match within the tournament.

Andrew Porter will on Thursday be confirmed as only the sixth player to ever wear the Ireland No3 jersey in the Six Nations championship. Wales has not lost to the Irish in their last three matchups.

"You don't suddenly replace world-class players".

Injuries have become a frustration for Schmidt despite Ireland's winning start.

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"It's a nice honour but it's just something to reflect back on".

But he says they did not want to risk the lock given what's still to come in the Six Nations.

Ireland failed to score a try last season in a Test against Wales for only the second time since 1994.

The British and Irish Lions No.10 will make his first appearance for Wales in this year's Six Nations after suffering a shoulder injury playing for his club Ospreys in the European Rugby Champions Cup against Clermont Auvergne in January.

Ireland have won 12 of their last 14 matches, including the last nine in a row.

England began the championship as favourites but now stand only a 40 per cent chance of retaining their title, with Ireland boasting a 43 per cent probability of finishing top, says insurers QBE.

This is Warren Gatland's 100th game in charge.

Only France captain Guilhem Guirado (50) has made more tackles than Josh Navidi (36/37) in this Six Nations far.