Joe Schmidt has made four changes to his starting 15 to face Japan this weekend in Ireland’s second game of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, with Jack Carty making his first World Cup start.
Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell and Carty come in for Jordan Larmour, Andrew Conway, Bundee Aki and Jonathan Sexton from the team that started against Scotland.
The Ireland pack is unchanged. Jack Conan was due to start, it seems, but he took studs to his foot in training and is no longer available.
Rhys Ruddock and Sean Cronin come onto the bench in place of Conan and Niall Scannell.
Joe Schmidt has named a strong @IrishRugby team for Saturday’s Pool A match against hosts Japan in Shizuoka.@JackCarty10 starts at 10. While @KearneyRob and @KEITHEARLS87 get their first starts of #RWC2019#JPNvIRE pic.twitter.com/IL7hDMzDpy
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) September 26, 2019
“He’s never happy about being left out, he’s always looking to play”, said Schmidt, when asked about Jonathan Sexton not making this weekend’s squad.
“He played through 55-odd minutes against Scotland, so he’s got a bit of mileage under his belt there.
We thought about bringing him off the bench and giving ourselves that security off the bench, but we also have a lot of time for Joey and feel that he was fit and available for Scotland so we wanted to get him involved as well, and we just felt that bringing Joey off the bench was a good option and that just means we take the pressure off Johnny this week,” Schmidt explained.
The full team is as follows:
15. Rob Kearney
14. Keith Earls
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Chris Farrell
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Jack Carty
9. Conor Murray
8. CJ Stander
7. Josh van der Flier
6. Peter O’Mahony
5. James Ryan
4. Iain Henderson
3. Tadhg Furlong
2. Rory Best
1. Cian Healy
Sean Cronin, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Beirne, Rhys Ruddock, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery, Jordan Larmour
Japan name their team at 7am Irish time this morning, having got their campaign off to a winning start against Russia on the opening night of the tournament.
Japan welcome Ireland to Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa on Saturday. Kick-off is at 8.15am Irish time.
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