Andy Farrell has made nine changes to his starting Ireland XV against Georgia this Sunday following last Saturday’s 18-7 round two Nations Cup defeat to England as Twickenham. Four of the switches are in the backs. There is a fresh half-back pairing in Conor Murray and Billy Burns who take over from Jamison Gibson-Park and Ross Byrne, a change that heralds the first Ireland start for Burns after two appearances off the bench.
The other two backline changes see Stuart McCloskey slotting in at inside centre for a rare Test cap while Jacob Stockdale, a try-scorer last weekend from the bench, will start at full-back. His inclusion means James Lowe drops out, last Saturday’s full-back Hugo Keenan switches to right wing with Keith Earls, who wore No14 in London, moving to No11.
In the pack, Andrew Porter holds on and will form a revised front row with Finlay Bealham and Rob Herring. James Ryan continues as captain but will now partner Iain Henderson, who steps up for Quinn Roux.
Then in the back row, CJ Stander is the only repeat starter as Will Connors comes in for Peter O’Mahony and Tadhg Beirne starts for Caelan Doris. To accommodate Beirne at blindside, Stander has switched from six to No8.
Uncapped Shane Daly, who won the Energia All-Ireland League with Cork Constitution in 2019, is included on a bench containing Kieran Marmion and Byrne as fellow backline cover. Dave Heffernan, Cian Healy, John Ryan, Roux and O’Mahony are the forward replacements.
Tensions boiled over at Glasgow on Monday, but yellow-carded Ryan Wilson – the only player punished after a melee with Munster – claims he wasn't the only sinner #GuinnessPRO14 https://t.co/XlmCvz61hu
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) November 25, 2020
IRELAND (vs Georgia, Sunday)
15. Jacob Stockdale (Lurgan/Ulster) 31 caps
14. Hugo Keenan (UCD/Leinster) 4 caps
13. Chris Farrell (Young Munster/Munster) 12 caps
12. Stuart McCloskey (Bangor/Ulster) 3 caps
11. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 86 caps
10. Billy Burns (UIster) 2 caps
9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 85 caps
1. Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht) 13 caps
2. Rob Herring (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 14 caps
3. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 30 caps
4. Iain Henderson (Academy/Ulster) 56 caps
5. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 30 caps Captain
6. Tadhg Beirne (Lansdowne/Munster) 16 caps
7. Will Connors (Leinster/UCD) 4 caps
8. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 44 caps
16. Dave Heffernan (Buccaneers/Connacht) 4 caps
17. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 102 caps
18. John Ryan (Cork Constitution/Munster) 21 caps
19. Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) 14 caps
20. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 71 caps
21. Kieran Marmion (Corinthians/Connacht) 27 caps
22. Ross Byrne (UCD/Leinster) 9 caps
23. Shane Daly (Cork Constitution/Munster) uncapped
"Our history is war, trying to survive around big countries when you are small. We can bring joy to the country."
Beka Gorgadze, Georgia's brilliant new totem, speaks about the hardships of home, the ANC and what the Lelos need to take the next steps.
— Jamie Lyall (@JLyall93) November 26, 2020
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