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Three backline changes as Ireland team named to face Springboks

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Andy Farrell has announced an Ireland team to host the Springboks this Saturday in Dublin that has three changes – all in the backline – from the XV that started the historic series-clinching win over the All Blacks last July. It was 16 weeks ago when the Irish defeated New Zealand in Wellington 32-22 in their most recent outing and the world’s current No1 ranked rugby country have now unveiled the lineup that it believes can quieten world champions South Africa at Aviva Stadium.

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With the starting pack unchanged from the 2-1 Test clincher in New Zealand, Ireland have included scrum-half Conor Murray, midfielder Garry Ringrose and winger Robert Baloucoune at the expense of Jamison Gibson-Park, the suspended Bundee Aki and the injured James Lowe.

Baloucoune missed the summer tour of New Zealand through injury but recently started against both the Griquas and the Cheetahs for Emerging Ireland. He will start on the right wing, with Mack Hansen switching across to the left wing berth that Lowe had occupied four months ago.

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Aside from the Murray/Gibson-Park switch, the only other change on the Ireland bench from four months ago sees Stuart McCloskey named as the 23rd man in place of Keith Earls. Meanwhile, Nathan Doak, Tom Stewart and Stewart Moore have now joined the extended Ireland squad.

Ireland (vs South Africa, Saturday)
15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD) 23 caps
14. Robert Baloucoune (Ulster/Enniskillen) 2 caps
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD) 44 caps
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers) 60 caps
11. Mack Hansen (Connacht) 6 caps
10. Johnny Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 108 caps CAPTAIN
9. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen) 99 caps
1. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD) 46 caps
2. Dan Sheehan (Leinster/Lansdowne) 10 caps
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf) 60 caps
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne) 33 caps
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD) 46 caps
6. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution) 87 caps
7. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD) 43 caps
8. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College) 20 caps

Replacements
16. Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch) 28 caps
17. Cian Healy (Leinster/Clontarf) 118 caps
18. Finlay Bealham (Connacht/Buccaneers) 25 caps
19. Kieran Treadwell (Ulster/Ballymena) 8 caps
20. Jack Conan (Leinster/Old Belvedere) 30 caps
21. Jamison Gibson Park (Leinster) 20 caps
22. Joey Carbery (Munster/Clontarf) 35 caps
23. Stuart McCloskey (Ulster/Bangor) 6 caps

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