Ireland team vs. Italy: All the big changes, new additions and talking points
Andy Farrell is clearly not messing about.
Ireland fly out to Rome on Thursday afternoon, not long after Andy Farrell names his Ireland team to face Italy.
Tadhg Beirne has been ruled out for the next 12 weeks after a leg injury sustained in the win over France. Johnny Sexton has missed training, early this week, after some groin issues and both Dan Sheehan and Cian Healy are back training so there will be changes made.
Elsewhere, Jack Conan and Bundee Aki will be pushing for starts while Jimmy O'Brien and Jack Crowley could come on to the bench. Joey Carbery and Kieran Treadwell were both named in Ireland's 37-man squad, for round three of the Six Nations, on Monday.
Six changes to starting Ireland team
Iain Henderson replaces the injured Tadhg Beirne and Rónan Kelleher and Ross Byrne getting starts to go easy on the bumped and bruised Rob Herring and Johnny Sexton.
Also included in the Ireland XV are Bundee Aki, Craig Casey and Jack Conan, respectively in for Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray and Peter O'Mahony.
15. Hugo Keenan
14. Mack Hansen
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Bundee Aki
11. James Lowe
10. Ross Byrne
9. Craig Casey
1. Andrew Porter
2. Rónan Kelleher
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Iain Henderson
5. James Ryan
6. Caelan Doris
7. Josh van der Flier
8. Jack Conan
Replacements: Dan Sheehan, Dave Kilcoyne, Tom O'Toole, Ryan Baird, Peter O'Mahony, Conor Murray, Jack Crowley, Stuart McCloskey.
We'll be keeping track of all the team news, rumours and comments from Kieran Crowley and Andy Farrell in our live feed RIGHT HERE:
On Tuesday, outhalf Ross Byrne was up for media duties at the IRFU High Performance Centre at the Sport Ireland Campus, in Dublin.
"It would be big [to start against Italy] but I'll just treat it like I normally would," he said. "I've played a lot of games this year and I am pretty happy with how that has gone and my preparation. I won’t be doing anything too different."
Ireland vs. Italy kicks off at 2:15pm on Saturday, February 25th at Stadio Olimpico, in Rome.
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