Ireland make seven changes to face Australia

Ireland make seven changes to face Australia

The Ireland coaching group have named the final Ireland Match Day Squad of 2022 for Saturday’s Nations Series finale against Australia at Aviva Stadium (Kick-off 8pm, live on Virgin Media, Amazon Prime and RTE Radio).

The Wallabies return to Dublin for the first time since 2016 where Ireland survived a second half rally to secure a 27-24 victory.  The sides have met three times since but all three games took place on Australian soil in the summer of 2018. Australia won the first Test in Brisbane (18-9) but the Irish squad recovered to win the Tests in Melbourne (21-26) and Sydney (16-20) to take the Series.


Prior to 2016, the Wallabies ran out convincing 32-15 winners in Dublin in 2013, while Ireland came out on top in 2014 winning 26-23. Australia have played 19 games in Ireland including the first meeting between the two nations in 1927. They have recorded 11 victories and a draw – the 20-20 game in 2009 at Croke Park.

There are seven changes to the Ireland starting XV along with three positional changes. Hugo Keenan is named at fullback for his 25th cap with Jimmy O’Brien switching to the left wing and Mack Hansen switching across to the right. Johnny Sexton returns at out-half to partner Jamison Gibson Park.

Andrew Porter and Dan Sheehan are named in the front-row alongside last week’s captain Tadhg Furlong. James Ryan returns to the second row to partner Tadhg Beirne and both Josh van der Flier and Peter O’Mahony return to the back row with Caelan Doris switching from the blindside flank to number eight.


The uncapped Joe McCarthy is named among the replacements alongside fellow Emerging Ireland tourist Jack Crowley.  Bundee Aki returns to provide experience off the bench alongside centurion Cian Healy, Lions tourist Jack Conan and Ulster’s Rob Herring.

Finlay Bealham will get a chance to face the country of his birth for a second time having played in the 2016 fixture at the Aviva Stadium while Craig Casey has the opportunity to play against Australia for the first time.


Seven of the starting team will be facing the Wallabies for the first time: Keenan, Hansen, Stuart McCloskey, O’Brien, Gibson-Park, Sheehan and Doris.

15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 24 caps
14. Mack Hansen (Connacht/Corinthians) 8 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 46 caps
12. Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 8 caps
11. Jimmy O’Brien (Leinster/Naas) 2 caps
10. Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 109 caps CAPTAIN
9. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 22 caps

1. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 47 caps
2. Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 12 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 62 caps
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 35 caps
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 47 caps
6. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 88 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 44 caps
8. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 22 caps
 
Replacements:

16. Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 30 caps
17. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 120 caps
18. Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 26 caps
19. Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin University) *
20. Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 32 caps
21. Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) 6 caps
22. Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution) 1 cap
23. Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 40 caps

*denotes uncapped player

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