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Named: Aki to make Ireland bow against Springboks

Centre Bundee Aki

Uncapped centre Bundee Aki has been named in the Ireland starting line-up to face South Africa at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

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The New Zealand-born Connacht powerhouse recently completed his residency qualification and goes straight into the side to take on the Springboks in Dublin.

Keith Earls has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury, so Andrew Conway comes in on the wing and the uncapped Darren Sweetnam is among the replacements.

There is no place in the matchday squad for Jack McGrath, who picked up a knock in training, as Cian Healy gets the nod at loosehead prop with Dave Kilcoyne providing the cover from the bench.

Sean O’Brien will win his 50th cap versus the Springboks.

Ireland: Rob Kearney, Andrew Conway, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Cian Healy, Rory Best (captain), Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, Devin Toner, Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rob Herring, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, James Ryan, Rhys Ruddock, Kieran Marmion, Joey Carbery, Darren Sweetnam.

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