Injury has ruled out John Hayes, Marcus Horan and Ronan O'Gara but this trio will be in the RWC squad when it is named at the beginnning of September. The other strong contenders or a place in that squad - John Kelly and Alan Quinlan have been omitted from Saturday's proceeedings entirely but they will get a chance later (probably v Scotland) to further strenghten their claims to a place in Eddie O'Sullivan's squad for Down Under.
With Stringer O'Connell and Foley all certainties to travel to Australia, all eyes will be on the red haired left winger on Saturday. Anthony Horgan won his first cap earlier this summer in Samoa a game that ended for him when he was withdrawn sufering from heat stroke. Now he has the opportunity to throw his name into the hat for the RWC and the pressure he will be under will be heightened by the fact that sitting on the bench will be another RWC hopeful Tyrone Howe.
Anthony Foley returns to anchor the scrum having missed that trip to the south seas and while he was disappointed to have to opt out he certainly arrives at this stage of the season looking fresh and fit and hungry and having beneitted from the enorced lay-off.
Two players who will be itching to get onto the field on saturday will be Donncha O'Callaghan and David Wallace. O'Callaghan needs to get on and perform in order to stave off the challenge from Leo Cullen for the one lock position still up for grabs while Wallace is in a similar position, competing for a place in a back-row that has an abundence of riches.
Ireland Team to Face Wales:
15 Geordan Murphy (Leicester) 14 Shane Horgan (Leinster Lansdowne) 13 Brian O Driscoll (Leinster Blackrock College) 12 - Kevin Maggs (Bath) 11 Anthony Horgan (Munster Cork Constitution) 10 David Humphreys (Ulster Dungannon) 9 Peter Stringer (Munster Shannon) 1 Reggie Corrigan (Leinster Greystones) 2 - Keith Wood Captain 3 Simon Best (Ulster Belfast Harlequins) 4 Malcolm O Kelly (Leinster - St. Mary s College) 5 Paul O Connell (Munster Young Munster) 6 Victor Costello (Leinster St. Mary s College) 7 Keith Gleeson (Leinster St. Mary s College) 8 Anthony Foley (Munster Shannon)
16 Shane Byrne (Leinster Blackrock College) 17 - Justin Fitzpatrick (Castres) 18 - Donncha O Callaghan (Munster Cork Constitution) 19 - David Wallace (Munster Garryowen) 20 - Guy Easterby (Rotherham) 21 - Tyrone Howe (Ulster Dungannon) 22 - Girvan Dempsey (Leinster Terenure College);