Friday 24 November 2017

Payne misses out as Schmidt makes a host of changes for series decider

Ruaidhri O’Connor in Port Elizabeth

Ireland will be without Jared Payne for Saturday’s series decider against South Africa in Port Elizabeth after the Ulster star failed to prove his fitness in time.

Tiernan O’Halloran will start for his country for the first time at full-back, while Stuart Olding and Luke Marshall have been paired together in midfield in what is a make-shift backline .

Payne failed to finish last weekend’s 32-26 defeat to the Springboks due to a calf problem and didn’t train this morning.

With Robbie Henshaw also out after returning home with a knee injury, this is the first time Joe Schmidt has not had either of his first choice centre pairing in his team for a significant game since the two-Test tour of Argentina in 2014.

Read more: Ireland's third test chances take a hit as Springboks start last week's super-subs 

Keith Earls comes on to the wing, while Schmidt has restored the pack from the first Test win over South Africa at Newlands, with Mike Ross, Jordi Murphy and CJ Stander all back in the side, while Ultan Dillane is back on the bench.

Matt Healy will make his debut if introduced off the bench as Schmidt uses his entire 32-man touring squad as Eoin Reddan wins his 71st and final cap of what has been a stellar career at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.

The scrum-half has confirmed that he will retire at the end of the season after a glittering innings with Munster, Leinster, Wasps, Connacht and Ireland in which he won three Heineken Cups and two Six Nations titles a challenge Cup and two Pro12 wins.

"I have been privileged to be part of so many successful teams over the course of my career,” the Limerick native said.

“To win European and domestic honours with both Wasps and Leinster has been fantastic and to taste Six Nations success with Ireland over the past three seasons has been incredible.

“I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences that professional rugby has provided over the course of my career but feel that now is the right time to commit to the next chapter of my life and take on a new challenge.

“I have a fantastic opportunity in a dynamic industry that will bring a new set of challenges and opportunities for myself and my family.   I am grateful to Leinster and the IRFU for supporting my decision to take up this opportunity.

“I'd like to thank my wife Aoife for all her support over the years. Whether it was moving to Wasps or keeping Evie, Tom and everything else running so smoothly while I've been away for long periods, she has been amazing.

“My parents Geraldine and Don had a massive influence on everything about me from a young age up until today.

“Don has barely missed a minute of my career in 15 years.  My brothers Donal, Diarmuid, Alan and Cian have been behind me every step of the way and have travelled the world to support me.

“I've been blown away by all their efforts and I realise how much it helped me to stay motivated and to keep on pushing as hard as I could until the very end.”

South Africa have made two changes to the starting XV with Ruan Combrinck and Warren Whiteley coming in for Lwazi Mvovo and the injured Duane Vermeulen.

Teams for Saturday’s third Test between South Africa and Ireland

SOUTH AFRICA – Willie le Roux; Ruan Combrinck, Lionel Mapoe, Damian de Allende, JP Pietersen; Elton Jantjes, Faf du Klerk; Tendai Mtawarira, Adriaan Strauss (capt), Frans Malherbe; Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit; Francois Louw, Siya Kolisi, Warren Whiteley. Reps: Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff, Julian Redelinghuys, Franco Mostert, Jaco Kriel, Rudy Paige, Morne Steyn, Lwazi Mvovo.

IRELAND – Tiernan O’Halloran; Andrew Trimble, Luke Marshall, Stuart Olding, Keith Earls, Paddy Jackson, Conor Murray; Jack McGrath, Rory Best (Capt), Mike Ross; Iain Henderson, Devin Toner; CJ Stander, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip. Reps: Sean Cronin, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Furlong, Ultan Dillane, Rhys Ruddock, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Matt Healy.

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