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Ireland make eight changes

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Ireland make eight changes for second Test

Joe Schmidt has mixed things up significantly ahead of Ireland’s second test against Australia in Melbourne on Saturday, making 8 changes to his starting line up.

As expected, Johnny Sexton returns to the starting XV ahead of Joey Carbery, who drops to the bench. Schmidt has also opted for an entirely new front row, with Munster’s Niall Scannell a surprise inclusion ahead of Sean Cronin.

Devin Toner returns to partner his Leinster teammate James Ryan in the second row, with Tadgh Beirne set to make his Irish debut from the bench.

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Schmidt has opted for his Grand Slam winning back row with Dan Leavy joining Stander and O’Mahony in the pack. Jordi Murphy will consider himself lucky to make the bench after a sub-par performance last weekend. Iain Henderson misses out with a knee problem.

In the back line, Andrew Conway replaces Jacob Stockdale and Gary Ringrose is brought in to partner Leinster teammate Robbie Henshaw at the expense of Bundee Aki who has an ankle niggle.

Ireland Team: 15. Rob Kearney 14. Andrew Conway 13. Garry Ringrose 12. Robbie Henshaw 11. Keith Earls 10. Johnny Sexton 9. Conor Murray 8. CJ Stander 7. Dan Leavy 6. Peter O’Mahony (captain) 5. James Ryan 4. Devin Toner 3. Tadhg Furlong 2. Niall Scannell 1. Cian Healy

Replacements: Rob Herring, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Beirne, Jordi Murphy, John Cooney, Joey Carbery, Jordan Larmour.

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Ireland make eight changes for second Test