Friday 23 February 2018

Ireland get a new fullback as Joe Schmidt picks attacking line-up to secure first win in South Africa

Ruaidhri O’Connor

Jared Payne will play at full-back for Ireland for the first time against South Africa on Saturday.

The New Zealand-born Ulster star has been chosen to wear the No 15 jersey in the absence of injured pair Rob Kearney and Simon Zebo after impressing in the position this season.

Payne is one of six Ulster players in the team that sees Paddy Jackson start at out-half alongside Conor Murray, with Iain Henderson lining out in the second-row alongside Devin Toner.

The move of Payne to full-back means Luke Marshall comes into the centre where he links up with Robbie Henshaw for the first time, while Andrew Trimble and Keith Earls are on the wing.

Read more: Farrell's new-look defence can put Irish on the attack

Up front, Schmidt has gone for his first-choice front-row of Jack McGrath, Rory Best and Mike Ross, while Jordi Murphy joins CJ Stander and Jamie Heaslip in the back-row after missing out on the Six Nations.

Sean Cronin edges Richardt Strauss to a place on the bench alongside Tadhg Furlong and Finlay Bealham, while Ultan Dillane covers the second-row and Rhys Ruddock the back-row.

Kieran Marmion has beaten Eoin Reddan to the No 21 jersey, Ian Madigan covers Jackson and Craig Gilroy is also on the bench.

Read more: McGrath ready for ultimate test against Springbok scrum

South Africa name their team for Saturday's match at 2.45 this afternoon.

Ireland team to face South Africa: Jared Payne; Andrew Trimble, Robbie Henshaw, Luke Marshall, Keith Earls; Paddy Jackson, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rory Best, Mike Ross; Iain Henderson, Devin Toner; CJ Stander, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip. Replacements: Sean Cronin, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Furlong, Ultan Dillane, Rhys Ruddock, Kieran Marmion, Ian Madigan, Craig Gilroy.

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