Saturday 24 March 2018

Keith Wood has predicted the starting XV Joe Schmidt should choose for Italy

Joe Schmidt
Joe Schmidt

Ireland Keith Wood has predicted the starting XV that Joe Schmidt will deploy against the Italians in Rome. Is he far off the mark

Despite being frozen out in recent weeks for Leinster, Wood told Off The Ball on Newstalk that he expects Mike Ross to start in the front row alongside Rory Best and Jack McGrath.

There is a familiar look to his second row with Devin Toner partnering captain Paul O'Connell.

Leinster Jordi Murphy has done enough over the last two weekends to justify selection at openside, according to Wood, alongside Peter O'Mahony and Jamie Heaslip.

Ian Madigan is selected at flyhalf, with Johnny Sexton injured, to form a half-back partnership with Conor Murray.

Connacht's Robbie Henshaw is at 12 alongside Luke Fitzgerald, with Simon Zebo, Tommy Bowe and Rob Kearney included in the back three.


Keith Wood's Ireland XV for Italy

1. Jack McGrath 2. Rory Best 3. Mike Ross

4. Devin Toner 5. Paul O’Connell

6. Peter O’Mahony 8. Jamie Heaslip 7. Jordi Murphy

9. Conor Murray

                          10. Ian Madigan

12. Robbie Henshaw 13. Luke Fitzgerald

11. Simon Zebo                                                   14. Tommy Bowe

15. Rob Kearney


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