Tuesday 15 October 2019

Carty takes the reins as Kearney and Earls return - Ireland name formidable side to take on Japan

Jack Carty during Ireland Rugby squad training at the Yumeria Sports Grounds in Iwata
Jack Carty during Ireland Rugby squad training at the Yumeria Sports Grounds in Iwata
Rob Kearney has been recalled to the Ireland team to face Japan. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Joe Schmidt will pay Japan the utmost respect by naming his strongest possible team to face the World Cup hosts in Shizuoka on Saturday.

Jack Carty has been given the nod to start in place of the injured Johnny Sexton against Japan.

Joey Carbery had been expected to come into the team, but Schmidt has shown faith in Carty after a string of fine performances.

Sexton is struggling with a quad issue and Ireland have sensibly decided not to risk the out-half.

Jack Conan was pencilled in to start, but the No 8 suffered a foot injury in training this morning and as a result has been replaced by Peter O'Mahony with CJ Stander shifting back to No 8.

That means it is an unchanged pack that started in the win over Scotland as Rory Best again leads the side despite playing the full 80 minutes in Yokohama.

James Ryan and Iain Henderson will continue their second-row partnership behind a familiar looking front-row, which also includes Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong.

Conor Murray will partner Carty at half-back and after an excellent performance against the Scots, the scrum-half will be eager to build on that impressive display.

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Carty is in line to win his ninth cap and will be expected to run Schmidt's game-plan.

Having deputised so well off the bench last week, Chris Farrell is promoted to the starting XV in place of Bundee Aki, who is given the weekend off despite passing his HIA earlier this week. Ringrose is again at outside centre.

There are welcome returns for Rob Kearney and Keith Earls from their respective injuries, while Jacob Stockdale continues on the left wing.

Carbery has been named amongst the replacements along with Luke McGrath and Jordan Larmour.

The substitute forwards include Sean Cronin, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Beirne and Rhys Ruddock.

Japan will name their team at 7am this morning.

Ireland team to play Japan on Saturday – R Kearney; K Earls, G Ringrose, C Farrell, J Stockdale; J Carty, C Murray; C Healy, R Best (capt), T Furlong; I Henderson, J Ryan; P O'Mahony, J van der Flier, CJ Stander.

Reps: S Cronin, D Kilcoyne, A Porter, T Beirne, R Ruddock, L McGrath, J Carbery, J Larmour.

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