Joe Schmidt has decided to make a raft of changes after Ireland’s defeat to Australia in the first Test.
The 18-9 loss to the Wallabies in Brisbane ended a 12-match unbeaten run and as a result Schmidt has decided to wield the axe for the second Test in Melbourne according to a report in the Irish Times.
Eight changes are expected, including an all-new front row. Coming in will be the Leinster trio of Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Tadhg Furlong.
Ireland were dominated at the breakdown at the Suncorp Stadium and as result one of the most in-form players in Europe, Dan Leavy, is restored to the team. Jordi Murphy may not even make the 23-man squad. The changes to the pack don’t end there, with Devin Toner preferred to Iain Henderson, who like Murphy didn’t put in his usual abrasive performance.
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There is a shuffling of the deck in the backs too, as expected Johnny Sexton returns instead of Joey Carbery, while Connacht’s Bundee Aki is also omitted, with the Leinster duo of Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose in at 12 and 13 respectively.
The versatile Tadhg Beirne, who left the Scarlets to join Munster, could be in line for his debut off the bench.
Australia are set to stick with the starting XV for the second Test according the to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Michael Hooper, David Pocock and Caleb Timu keep their spots and speaking on Wednesday last weeks debutant Timu admitted to feeling nervous want to see improvements.
“I was pretty happy with how I went. I just want to get involved and touch the ball a bit more [this week] but overall I was pretty happy with my work-rate around the field and I just want to keep working and improving each week.”
Video: Caleb Timu speaks about second Test with Ireland
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