There were more positives than negatives in Athlone last week when Ireland came from behind to beat the Welsh 11-6, but Ruddock has been forced to make two alterations, with impressive winger Barry Daly having to opt out with a broken thumb. It offers an opportunity to Connacht’s Conor Finn to line out close to his Buccaneers team colleague, full-back Shane Layden.
Ruddock has also promoted Chris Farrell from the bench to outside centre along with scrum-half Luke McGrath, with the pair making their first starts of the Championship. Foster Horan and Kieran Marmion are the players to make way.
Ireland: S Layden (Buccaneers/Connacht), C Finn (Buccaneers/Connacht), C Farrell (Dungannon/Ulster), JJ Hanrahan (UL Bohemians/Munster), S Coghlan Murray (UCD/Leinster), P Jackson (Dungannon/Ulster, captain), L McGrath (UCD/Leinster), K McCall (Ballynahinch/Ulster), N Scannell (Dolphin/Munster), P Reilly (Lansdowne/Leinster), I Henderson (Queen’s University/Ulster), D Qualter (Buccaneers/Connacht), C Gilsenan (UCD/Leinster), A Conneely (Corinthians/Connacht), J Conan (Old Belvedere/Leinster).
Replacements: D Merrey (Clontarf/Leinster), J Rael (Garryowen/Munster), D Higgins (Buccaneers/Connacht), T Beirne (Lansdowne/Leinster), J Coghlan (UCD/Leinster), K Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht), C Marsh (Dublin University/Leinster), F Horan (Lansdowne/Leinster).