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Tipuric set for 50th cap in Ireland clash

8th March, 2017
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Flanker Justin Tipuric is set to win his 50th cap for Wales after being named in an unchanged team for the Six Nations game against Ireland in Cardiff.

Tipuric, with the No.7 jersey, will line up alongside Sam Warburton and Ross Moriarty in the back row on Friday as Wales seek to put two successive defeats behind them.

“We felt it was important the same group of players had the opportunity to go out and perform on Friday so we have named an unchanged match-day squad,” head coach Rob Howley said.

“Friday night is an opportunity for us. There is a lot of experience in our group and you don’t become a bad team overnight. We want to show what we can do and that experience will be very important this week.”

Wales lost 21-16 at home to England on February 11 and 29-13 to Scotland at Murrayfield a fortnight later.

They need to win one of their remaining two Six Nations matches to stay in the top eight of the World Rugby rankings and avoid falling into the third pot for the 2019 Rugby World Cup draw on May 10.

Wales were ranked ninth when the draw was made before the last World Cup, in England in 2015, and ended up with the hosts and Australia in their pool, finishing in second place before losing to South Africa in the quarter-finals.

“We know we need to be more clinical and we need to execute better under pressure and we have been working hard on that during the last few weeks,” said Howley.

“Ireland are one of the in-form sides in world rugby and are coached very well and packed with experience and there are a number of interesting match-ups across both teams.”

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WALES: Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Jonathan Davies, Scott Williams, Liam Williams, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb, Ross Moriarty, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Jake Ball, Tomas Francis, Ken Owens, Rob Evans.
Interchange: Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Samson Lee, Luke Charteris, Taulupe Faletau, Gareth Davies, Sam Davies, Jamie Roberts.