Sam Costelow to return for Wales against Ireland in Guinness Six Nations clash

Fly-half Sam Costelow has been recalled to the Wales starting line-up for Saturday’s Guinness Six Nations clash against Ireland in Dublin.

The Scarlets number 10 went off because of a neck problem suffered when Wales were beaten 27-26 by opening Six Nations opponents Scotland.

He was replaced by Ioan Lloyd, who started at fly-half in the Twickenham appointment with England, but Costelow now returns as a solitary change from that game.

Elsewhere, there are further starts for squad newcomers Cameron Winnett and Alex Mann, while centre George North wins his 120th cap and is only the third Wales player to reach that mark after Alun Wyn Jones and Gethin Jenkins.

Uncapped Cardiff back-row forward Mackenzie Martin, meanwhile, features on the replacements’ bench.

The 20-year-old is in his first full season of professional rugby and has made just nine Cardiff appearances, but he is now set to make a Test debut at the Aviva Stadium.

Other changes on the bench from Twickenham see Lloyd and Harlequins prop Dillon Lewis both included.

Wales have not won a Six Nations encounter in Dublin since 2012, drawing one and losing four of the subsequent meetings.

They face a Herculean task against opponents fresh from posting bonus-point victories over France and Italy in pursuit of successive Grand Slams.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland said: “We are excited to go out to Dublin and test ourselves against one of the leading sides in world rugby. It is a challenge we are relishing.

“We have made steps in the last couple of games and now it is about building on that, learning from those experiences and taking that into this weekend.

“It is about continuing to work hard, looking for accuracy in our performance across 80 minutes, and also keeping our discipline.”

Wales team: C Winnett (Cardiff); J Adams (Cardiff), G North (Ospreys), N Tompkins (Saracens), R Dyer (Dragons); S Costelow (Scarlets), T Williams (Cardiff); G Thomas (Ospreys), E Dee (Dragons), K Assiratti (Cardiff), D Jenkins (Exeter, capt), A Beard (Ospreys), A Mann (Cardiff), T Reffell (Leicester), A Wainwright (Dragons).

Replacements: R Elias (Scarlets), C Domachowski (Cardiff), D Lewis (Harlequins), W Rowlands (Racing 92), M Martin (Cardiff), K Hardy (Scarlets), I Lloyd (Scarlets), M Grady (Cardiff).

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