Two huge calls as Ireland name team to face Italy 10 months ago

Two huge calls as Ireland name team to face Italy

A big call on the left wing and at openside flanker.

Andy Farrell is giving Test debuts to Hugo Keenan and Will Connors in a fresh-looking Ireland team to face Italy, this Saturday.

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Leinster's Hugo Keenan has been named on the left wing, with Jacob Stockdale slotting in at fullback and Andrew Conway on the right wing. Keenan is uncapped at Test level but has been in top form for Leinster over the past 18 months.

Will Connors is named in a new-look back row with Caelan Doris at blindside and CJ Stander at No.8. Tadhg Beirne and James Ryan are in the second row while Rob Herring gets the start at hooker.

In the backline, Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton are the half backs while Bundee Aki and Garry Ringrose start in midfeld.

Interestingly, Connacht's Dave Heffernan beats Ronan Kelleher to replacement hooker while the uncapped Leinster duo Ed Byrne and Jamison Gibson Park on the bench too.

Ireland team to face Italy

15. Jacob Stockdale
14. Andrew Conway
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Bundee Aki
11. Hugo Keenan
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray

1. Cian Healy
2. Rob Herring
3. Andrew Porter
4. James Ryan
5. Tadhg Beirne
6. Caelan Doris
7. Will Connors
8. CJ Stander

Subs: Dave Heffernan, Ed Byrne, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Peter O'Mahony, Jamison Gibson Park, Ross Byrne, Robbie Henshaw.

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Ireland go into the game knowing they will need a bonus point win to stay in championship contention.


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