Ireland without Sexton and Henshaw

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 14:32

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT:  Ireland will be without star playmakers Johnny Sexton or Robbie Henshaw when they face Australia on Saturday.

Sexton (hamstring) and Henshaw (concussion) will both miss the year-end Test in Dublin on Saturday as a result of injuries sustained the 9-21 loss to New Zealand in a bruising encounter last week.

Their places in the starting XV have been taken by Paddy Jackson (at No.10) and Garry Ringrose (No.12).

Christian Stander has recovered from the head injury, which also saw him depart last Saturday's game after just 22 minutes.

Iain Henderson comes into the second row to replace Donnacha Ryan.

Keith Earls takes Simon Zebo's place on the left wing in the starting XV.

Coach Joe Schmidt has gone for an unchanged front row, with captain Rory Best set to win his 100th Ireland cap - in between props Jack McGrath and Tadhg Furlong.

Devin Toner and Henderson form the second row, while vice-captain Jamie Heaslip and openside Sean O'Brien join Stander in the starting second row.

Conor Murray (No.9) will partner flyhalf Jackson in the halfbacks, while Ringrose links up with Jared Payne in the midfield.

Andrew Trimble, Kearney and Earls form the back three.

On the bench, Schmidt has opted for Cian Healy, Sean Cronin and Finlay Bealham as his front row cover again, with Ultan Dillane edging out Ryan as the second row replacement.

Josh van der Flier covers the back row.

Keiran Marmion is also included in the matchday squad, while Joey Carbery will look to win his third cap off the bench.

Zebo covers the back three.

Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Garry Ringrose, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Christian Stander, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Ultan Dillane, 20 Josh van der Flier, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Joey Carbery, 23 Simon Zebo.

Saturday: Saturday, November 26
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 17.30 (17.30 GMT; 04.30 AEDT Sunday, November 27)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle (England), Craig Maxwell-Keys (England)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (France)