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14th Sep 2023

Andy Farrell makes big calls, and plenty of changes, for Tonga clash

Patrick McCarry

Ireland team

The Ireland head coach switched up his starting XV as he seeks to keep up winning momentum.

Andy Farrell has made several changes to his Ireland team to face Tonga, this Saturday, as he keeps one eye on a huge game against South Africa.

Having set an Irish record for a World Cup winning margin, against Romania, last weekend, Farrell’s men will face a stiffer test against Tonga. His match-day 23 was named at 3pm (Irish time) on Thursday.

IRELAND TEAM (vs. Tonga)

15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD)(32)
14. Mack Hansen (Connacht/Corinthians)(17)
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD)(53)
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians)(48)
11. James Lowe (Leinster)(22)
10. Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College)(captain)(114)
9. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen)(108)

1. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD)(55)
2. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne)(22)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf)(68)
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne)(42)
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD)(56)
6. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution)(97)
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD)(53)
8. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College)(32)


16. Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch)(38)
17. David Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemians)(52)
18. Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers)(32)
19. Iain Henderson  (Ulster/Academy)(75)
20. Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University)(13)
21. Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon)(12)
22. Ross Byrne (Leinster/UCD)(21)
23. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers)(65).

Click on the key point you want to read about, or just keep scrolling to see updates in our live hub.

Ireland teamIreland team members Jack Conan, Garry Ringrose, captain Jonathan Sexton, Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Furlong. (Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile)

Jack Conan misses out on Ireland team selection again

Andy Farrell should have 32 players to chose his Ireland team, and replacements, to face Tonga. Jack Conan is still out, according to team manager Mick Kearney.

“Jack was out running, which was a real positive, and while Saturday will come a little bit early for him, I think the signs are really positive in terms of being able to train fully next week, and hopefully he will be available for South Africa,” Kearney told reporters, in Tours.

“It’s his first [time on the training pitch] for the last few days. So, he has been doing most of his rehab in the gym with the physios. Today was obviously a very big day for him in terms of getting out and running. He ran really well, it’s really positive and he was in a good place afterwards.”

There was better news from Mick Kearney on three other players that have been battling niggles and rehabbing – Dave Kilcoyne (hamstring), Robbie Henshaw (hamstring) and Dan Sheehan (foot).

“They were all integrated fully into training today, and all trained fully, so that’s positive as well,” said Kearney.


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