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Ireland name team for Japan with 8 changes from win over England

By Liam Heagney

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Andy Farrell has named an Ireland team to face Japan in their Autumn Nations Series opener in Dublin on Saturday that shows eight changes from the XV that started the Guinness Six Nations win last March over England. With Robbie Henshaw injury and CJ Stander retired, there were always going to be changes from that seminal victory eight months ago which clinched a third-place Six Nations finish.

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Ireland also checked out their depth since then when beating Japan and the USA in July and the selection that Farrell has now come up with is very much a rejigged XV.

Garry Ringrose takes over in the midfield from the injured Henhsaw, with Andrew Conway, Jamison Gibson-Park and James Lowe also included at the expense of the benched Keith Earls and Conor Murray with the absent Jacob Stockdale also excluded after being in the starting team that impressively finished off the Six Nations.

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Jack Nowell lifts the lid on ‘New England’
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Skipper Johnny Sexton will be winning his 100th Ireland Test cap with his Autumn Nations Series selection on Saturday.

He will be marshalling a pack of forwards that includes Andrew Porter at loosehead, Ronan Kelleher, James Ryan and Caelan Doris for the subbed Dave Kilcoyne, the omitted Rob Herring, the benched Iain Henderson and the retired Stander.

The positioning of Porter at loosehead will generate interest and he had been playing at tighthead for quite a number of years and only took up loosehead again at the start of this season with Leinster following his recovery from the toe injury that robbed him of his Lions tour. One uncapped player, Leinster’s Dan Sheehan, has been named on the bench as the replacement hooker.

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IRELAND (vs Japan, Saturday)
15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 13 caps
14. Andrew Conway (Munster/Garryowen) 25 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 34 caps
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians) 31 caps
11. James Lowe (Leinster) 6 caps
10. Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 99 caps CAPTAIN
9. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 10 caps
1. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps
2. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne) 13 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 49 caps
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 22 caps
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 37 caps
6. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 9 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 32 caps
8. Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 20 caps
Replacements
16. Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne)*
17. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 109 caps
18. Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 16 caps
19. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy) 63 caps
20. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 76 caps
21. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 89 caps
22. Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 24 caps
23. Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster) 93 caps

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