Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt has named his side for Saturday’s game against the USA, the final match in the 2018 Guinness Series.
The New Zealander has made wholesale changes following Ireland’s thrilling victory over the All Blacks at the Aviva Stadium last Saturday evening.
Rhys Ruddock has been named as captain for this weekend and the Leinsterman will be joined in the back row by Jordi Murphy and Jack Conan.
Iain Henderson, a replacement against New Zealand, starts in the second row alongside Tadhg Beirne. It’s all change in the front row which will consist of Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and Finlay Bealham.
The half back pairing is John Cooney and Joey Carbery, with Stuart McCloskey and Garry Ringrose chosen in the centre. Schmidt has named Ulster’s Will Addison at fullback with the Munster pair Andrew Conway and Darren Sweetnam on the wings.
Cian Healy is the most experienced player named on the bench, alongside John Ryan and Josh van der Flier. Rob Herring, Quinn Roux, Luke McGrath and Ross Byrne all have less than 10 Ireland international caps each, while Munster’s Sammy Arnold will made his Ireland debut if introduced off the bench.
Seán Cronin, Rob Kearney, Jack McGrath, James Ryan and Jordan Larmour, all of whom played a part in last weekend’s win, were not considered for the USA game and were released back to Leinster earlier this week. Kieran Marmion of Connacht wasn’t in the reckoning either, having picked up an injury.
Ireland Team
15. Will Addison, 14. Andrew Conway, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Stuart McCloskey, 11. Darren Sweetnam, 10. Joey Carbery, 9. John Cooney.
1. Dave Kilcoyne, 2. Niall Scannell, 3. Finlay Bealham, 4. Tadhg Beirne, 5. Iain Henderson, 6. Rhys Ruddock (captain), 7. Jordi Murphy, 8. Jack Conan.
Ireland Replacements
16. Rob Herring, 17. Cian Healy, 18. John Ryan, 19. Quinn Roux, 20. Josh van der Flier, 21. Luke McGrath, 22. Ross Byrne, 23. Sam Arnold.