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Andy Farrell makes six changes to Ireland team for Italy test

Feb 9, 2024 14:57 By Dave Hooper
Andy Farrell makes six changes to Ireland team for Italy test
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Farrell Names Ireland Team To Face Italy At Aviva Stadium

Andy Farrell has made six changes to the Irish team for Sunday’s Guinness Six Nations at Aviva Stadium.

Caelan Doris will captain Farrell's side for the first time, becoming the 110th player to captain the Ireland team in Test rugby.

Indeed, Farrell has selected an unchanged back three for the Round 2 clash. Hugo Keenan starts at full-back, while Calvin Nash and James Lowe continue on the wings.

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Whereas, Robbie Henshaw is retained at outside centre, with Stuart McCloskey coming into the Ireland midfield at inside centre.

Having made his first Guinness Six Nations start last weekend in Marseille, Jack Crowley remains at out-half and is partnered by his Munster team-mate Craig Casey in the half-backs.

Changes to the pack

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In the pack, Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan and Finlay Bealham make up the front row. Whereas, James Ryan comes into the starting XV to partner Joe McCarthy in the second row.

Ryan Baird is named at blindside flanker, Doris shifts to openside and Jack Conan completes the starting team at number eight.

Indeed, Farrell has selected a strong bench. Ronan Kelleher, Jeremy Loughman, Tom O'Toole, Iain Henderson and Josh van der Flier providing the reinforcements in the pack. Whereas, Jamison Gibson-Park, Harry Byrne and Jordan Larmour are the backline replacements.

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Ireland opened their Championship with a bonus point win away in France last weekend. Farrell's side return to a sold-out Aviva Stadium for their first home match of 2024 against the Azzurri.

Ireland: 15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster), 14. Calvin Nash (Munster), 13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster), 12. Stuart McCloskey (Ulster), 11. James Lowe (Leinster), 10. Jack Crowley (Munster), 9. Craig Casey (Munster), 1. Andrew Porter (Leinster), 2. Dan Sheehan (Leinster), 3. Finlay Bealham (Connacht), 4. Joe McCarthy (Leinster), 5. James Ryan (Leinster), 6. Ryan Baird (Leinster), 7. Caelan Doris (Leinster)(c), 8. Jack Conan (Leinster)

Replacements: 16. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster), 17. Jeremy Loughman (Munster), 18. Tom O’Toole (Ulster), 19. Iain Henderson (Ulster), 20. Josh van der Flier (Leinster), 21. Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster), 22. Harry Byrne (Leinster), 23. Jordan Larmour (Leinster).

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