Kleyn ready to bring

Rugby

Kleyn ready to bring "his best to the table" - Andy Farrell


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Ireland assistant coach Andy Farrell says Jean Kleyn has been settling in well ahead of making his debut against Italy in Saturday's Rugby World Cup warm-up game at the Aviva Stadium. 

The South African-born Munster lock has qualified today to play for Ireland under residency rules and has been named to start in the second-row alongside Devin Toner against the Azzurri this weekend.

"Everyone took to him straight away, he's acquitted himself very well," said Farrell of Kleyn this afternoon.

"Hopefully we're able to see his point of difference, first of all he knows he has to fit into a strategy.

"But he's also, within that, got to play his game and bring his best to the table."

Munster full-back Mike Haley will earn his first cap if brought off the bench, while flanker Tommy O'Donnell plays his first international game since March 2016, he's in a back-row which also includes Jordi Murphy and captain for the day Rhys Ruddock.

Out-half Johnny Sexton has been rested entirely, with Munster's Joey Carbery's picked in the 10 shirt and Connacht's Jack Carty among the replacements.

Head-coach Joe Schmidt has returned to his native New Zealand this week following a family bereavement and Farrell says it's unclear if Schmidt will be taking charge for Saturday's game.

"That's up to Joe, so we'll see.

"Joe will be back in the country soon and will be in and around the set-up at the weekend.

"Obviously it's unfortunate circumstances. I didn't think I'd be here reading the team out on a Thursday, because that's Joe's job.

"But it's been fine, we're following the plan we've always followed all the time under Joe."

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