IRELAND COACH JOE Schmidt has made two changes from the side that faced South Africa a fortnight ago for Saturday’s final November Test against Australia.
The changes see experienced campaigners Rory Best and Gordon D’Arcy come back into the starting line-up, the latter winning his 81st cap at inside centre.
Source: James Crombie/INPHO
After impressing in D’Arcy’s favoured position, Robbie Henshaw switches to outside centre where he has played the majority of his rugby this season.
Up front, Mike Ross starts his third Test in as many weeks alongside Best and Jack McGrath.
In all there are 12 changes from the victory over Georgia last Sunday with Rob Kearney, Tommy Bowe and Simon Zebo forming the back three while Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray resume their brilliant partnership.
Rhys Ruddock, another who proved an effective fresh face in the win over South Africa, gets another chance to show his worth at openside of a back row that also contains Peter O’Mahony and Jamie Heaslip.
On the replacements bench, Dave Foley will hope to win his second cap after a man-of-the-match display on his debut last week. The half-back cover is provided by Eoin Reddan and Ian Madigan with Felix Jones the acting understudy for the back three positions.
Ireland ( v Australia):
15. Rob Kearney.
14. Tommy Bowe.
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Gordon D’Arcy.
11. Simon Zebo
10. Jonathan Sexton
9. Conor Murray
1. Jack McGrath
2. Rory Best
3. Mike Ross
4. Devin Toner
5. Paul O’Connell (Capt.)
6. Pater O’Mahony
7. Rhys Ruddock
8. Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: Sean Cronin, Dave Kilcoyne, Rodney Ah You, Dave Foley, Tommy O’Donnell, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Felix Jones.
Toomua and Speight to start as Australia make four changes for Ireland Test