The Ireland team to face Italy in Saturday’s opening game of the Bank of Ireland Nations Series at Aviva Stadium (Kick-off 8pm) has been named.
Iain Henderson will captain the side for the second time, having previously led the team against France in February 2021. The Ulster man will win his 73rd Test cap in green, partnering Joe McCarthy in the Ireland second row.
Ryan Baird, Caelan Doris and Jack Conan form an all-Leinster backrow. The starting front row will be David Kilcoyne alongside Ulster duo Rob Herring and Tom O’Toole.
Keith Earls is set to make his 99th appearance for Ireland and starts on the right wing in a back three which includes Jimmy O’Brien and Jacob Stockdale.
Craig Casey will form a Munster half-back partnership with Jack Crowley, with Stuart McCloskey lining up alongside Robbie Henshaw in midfield.
Ciaran Frawley, Calvin Nash and Tom Stewart are in line for their Ireland debuts should they feature from the replacements, and they are named in a bench which includes props Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong, lock Tadhg Beirne, back-row Cian Prendergast and scrum-half Caolin Blade.
Ticket sales for Saturday’s game have passed the 41,750 mark and are still available from www.irishrugby.ie, with children’s tickets available from €10.
14: Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) (98)
13: Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) (63)
12: Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) (12)
11: Jacob Stockdale (Ulster/Lurgan) (35)
10: Jack Crowley (Munster / Cork Constitution) (3)
9: Craig Casey (Munster/Shannon) (10)1: David Kilcoyne (Munster/UL Bohemian) (51)
2: Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) (34)
3: Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch) (9)
4: Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) (72) CAPTAIN
5: Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin University) (1)
6: Ryan Baird (Leinster/Dublin University) (11)
7: Caelan Doris (Leinster/St. Mary’s College) (28)
8: Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) (38)
16: Tom Stewart* (Ulster/Ballynahinch) (0)
17: Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) (123)
18: Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) (65)
19: Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) (38)
20: Cian Prendergast (Connacht/UCD) (1)
21: Caolin Blade (Connacht/Galwegians) (1)
22: Ciaran Frawley* (Leinster/UCD) (0)
23: Calvin Nash* (Munster/Young Munster) (0)
*Denotes Uncapped Player
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (FFR), Assistant Referees: Pierre Brousset (FFR), Luc Ramos (FFR), TMO: Eric Gauzins (FFR), TMO Bunker: Stuart Terheege (RFU), 4th Official: Eoghan Cross (IRFU), 5th Official: Robbie Jenkinson (IRFU)