Six changes in Ireland team to face Australia as Peter O'Mahony named captain 3 years ago

Six changes in Ireland team to face Australia as Peter O'Mahony named captain

A few surprises here and Joe Schmidt changes things up.

Ireland have made six changes from the team that beat England to claim a Grand Slam for the opening Test against Australia.


Peter O'Mahony will captain the side in the absence of long-term leader Rory Best, who missed out on touring due to a hamstring injury. The Munster man takes his place in the Irish back row with Jordi Murphy and No.8 CJ Stander.

Joey Carbery, who recently joined Munster, gets a start at outhalf alongside Conor Murray. Johnny Sexton is named on the bench as backline cover, along with Kieran Marmion and Jordan Larmour.

There are a raft of changes in the Ireland pack, including a completely untried front row unit.

Jack McGrath, Rob Herring and John Ryan all have a lot of Test match experience but this will be their first time packing down together. The second row is unchanged from that England game, with Iain Henderson and James Ryan renewing their partnership.

Schmidt has rested several Leinster players after they went deep into the season on their double-clinching run and he is also going easy on the taxed Scarlets [now Munster] forward Tadhg Beirne. The Ireland bench has three British & Irish Lions on it, with Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong keeping Sexton company on Saturday.


Rob Kearney

Keith Earls
Robbie Henshaw
Bundee Aki
Jacob Stockdale

Joey Carbery
Conor Murray

Jack McGrath
Rob Herring
John Ryan

Iain Henderson
James Ryan

Peter O'Mahony (captain)
Jordi Murphy
CJ Stander


Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Tadhg Furlong, Quinn Roux, Jack Conan, Kieran Marmion, Johnny Sexton, Jordan Larmour.

Michael Cheika named his Wallabies side a couple of hours in advance of the Irish announcement.

There are two new caps in a starting XV that will be captained by Michael Hooper - hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa and No.8 Caleb Timu - while the uncapped flanker Pete Samu is on the bench.


The match will take place at 8:05pm local time [11:05am Irish].