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Eight XV changes for Ireland and uncapped forward named on bench

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Andy Farrell has unveiled an Ireland team to host Australia this Saturday in Dublin that shows eight changes from the XV that secured a 35-17 win over Fiji last weekend at the Aviva Stadium. He has also included the uncapped Joe McCarthy on a bench that includes the suspension-served Bundee Aki.

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Just three of the starting team alterations come in the backline. To accommodate the return of Hugo Keenan at full-back, Jimmy O’Brien, the No15 versus Fiji, has switched to No11, a decision that sees Mack Hansen switch over to No14 and Robert Baloucoune dropping out.

The other two backline changes are the fit-again Johnny Sexton at out-half for Joey Carbery, who was hurt in the red-carded tackle by Albert Tuisue, while Garry Ringrose will start in the place of the injured Robbie Henshaw. Ringrose was introduced off the bench just minutes after the start last week after Henshaw pulled up lame.

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In the pack, Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, James Ryan, Peter O’Mahony and Josh van der Flier – all starters in the win over South Africa – have been recalled at the expense of Jeremy Loughman, Rob Herring, Kieran Treadwell, Jack Conan and Nick Timoney. Caelan Doris, a starter against the Fijians at blindside, swaps to No8 to accommodate O’Mahony’s selection at No6.

Switching to the bench, Leinster forward McCarthy is set for his Test debut after making the cut. Finlay Bealham is this week’s tighthead cover in place of Tom O’Toole, the demoted Conan nudges Max Deegan from the reserves while Aki is included as 23rd man for the promoted Ringrose after the expiry of his red card suspension.

Related

Ireland (vs Australia, Saturday)
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

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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

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