Sunday 4 December 2016

Joe Schmidt sticks with tried and tested XV for All Blacks clash but uncapped young guns on the bench

Ruaidhri O'Connor in Chicago

Published 03/11/2016 | 19:30

Rob Kearney
Rob Kearney

Rob Kearney has been named to start at full-back for Ireland's meeting with New Zealand on Saturday.

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The experienced Leinsterman will win his 70th Ireland cap in Chicago as Joe Schmidt reverts to his tried and trusted backline with Jared Payne partnering Robbie Henshaw in midfield.

Kearney missed the summer tour of South Africa with injury and Payne and Tiernan O'Halloran filled in well in his absence, but he has been an automatic selection when fit for Schmidt and he has shown faith again.

Garry Ringrose and Joey Carbery could make their debuts off the bench at Soldier Field after being named as cover, with Kieran Marmion edging out Luke McGrath for the No 21 shirt.

Tadhg Furlong starts just  his second Test at tighthead prop alongside Rory Best and Jack McGrath, while Donnacha Ryan gets the nod ahead of Ultan Dillane in the second-row.

Schmidt has retained the back-three that started the first and third Tests in South Africa, with Jordi Murphy holding off Josh van der Flier to play at openside alongside CJ Stander and Jamie Heaslip.

Ireland team to face New Zealand: R Kearney; A Trimble, J Payne, R Henshaw, S Zebo; J Sexton, C Murray; J McGrath, R Best, T Furlong; D Toner, D Ryan; CJ Stander, J Murphy, J Heaslip. Reps: S Cronin, C Healy, F Bealham, U Dillane, J vd Flier, K Marmion, J Carbery, G Ringrose.

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