A head of Italy’s visit to Dublin this weekend, Ireland Rugby Union head coach Joe Schmidt has made several changes to his side that pulled off a dramatic 13-15 win over France in last weekends opening six nations fixture.
Of the changes, one that standout is the inclusion of 20 year old back Jordan Lamour on the bench. After only making his debut for Leinster in September, he has become a first team regular playing 14 games so far, this season and scoring 6 tries, including 2 fantastic solo efforts against Munster and Ulster.
The youngster’s ability to step of both feet along with his lighting acceleration has caused problems for every defence he has faced, and Schmidt hopes he will continue to do so should he come off the bench at the weekend.
In the pack, Schimdt has had to make some forced changes, with Jack Conan called up to make his Six Nations debut along side Devin Toner, Dan Leavy and Jack McGrath. The quartet replace CJ Stander, Cian Healy, James Ryan and the injured Josh Van der Flier who has now been ruled out for the season with Knee Ligament damage that saw him forced off late in the first half against France.
The starting back line reminds unchanged from last week, with Jonny Sexton starting at fly half, despite rumors the British & Irish Lion was to be rested.
With Van der Flier now joining Sean O’Brien and Rhys Ruddock on the side line, Leavy continues to deputies in the back row along side his Leinster team mates Conan and Peter O’Mahony.
Toner partners Henderson in the 2nd row and will replace British Lion Stander, who drops to the bench along with Healy who is replaced at Loose head prop by McGrath.
Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13, Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray; 1 Jack McGrath, 2, Rory Best, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 4 Iain Henderson, 5 Devin Toner, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 7 Dan Leavy, 8 Jack Conan.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 CJ Stander, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Jordan Larmour