Ireland hand debut to Lowe in Autumn Nations Cup opener against Wales

Lowe lines up on the left wing for Ireland’s Autumn Nations Cup opener against Wales on Friday night in a team showing seven changes from the Six Nations defeat to France 10 days ago.

Lowe, 28, joined Leinster from the Hamilton-based Chiefs in 2017 and recently qualified on residency. He is one of 11 Leinster players in the starting XV joins a back three also containing Hugo Keenan and full-back Jacob Stockdale. 

Billy Burns, the brother of former England fly-half Freddie, is also in line for a debut from the bench. 

Hooker Ronan Kelleher and scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park, another New Zealand-born player, make their first starts. He comes in for Conor Murray, who drops to the bench, although captain Johnny Sexton retains his spot at fly-half.

Flankers Peter O’Mahony and Josh van der Flier return to the side, with Caelan Doris moving to No8 and CJ Stander and Will Connors dropping out of the XV.

Tadhg Beirne is replaced by Iain Henderson at lock, while Kelleher comes in for Rob Herring in the front row, between props Cian Healy and Andrew Porter. 

In the centres, Chris Farrell comes in for Bundee Aki, while Keith Earls takes a place on the bench. 

Ireland lost 35-27 in Paris the final round of the Six Nations, finishing third behind England and France. 

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