Schmidt bloods Farrell

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 16:19

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Chris Farrell makes his Test debut for Ireland in Saturday's one-off Test with Fiji.

The starting XV which sees just two of the side that started the record 38-3 win over South Africa last weekend retained.

The 24-year-old Munster centre will partner the once-capped Stuart McLoskey in midfield in a side boasting just 188 caps.

Coach Joe Schmidt has used the Test to hand more experience to fringe players so as to add depth to the squad with the World Cup in Japan just two years away.

The New Zealander has rested his world class halfback pairing of fly-half Johnny Sexton and scrumhalf Conor Murray entirely and handed the responsibility to Joey Carbery and Kieran Marmion to fill the respective roles.

Carbery gets just his second start but impressed when he came on for Sexton in the rout of the Springboks.    

The only two players who will have started both Tests are Andrew Conway - who scored Ireland's first try against South Africa - and lock Devin Toner who will win his 52nd cap.

Conway is shifted from wing to full-back as the highly-regarded former top class Gaelic Games hurling star Darren Sweetnam gets his first start after the 24-year-old caught the eye when he came on in the Springbok Test.

Rhys Ruddock resumes the captaincy duties he performed during the tour of the United States and Japan in the summer as regular skipper Rory Best also sits out the match.

Ireland: 15 Andrew Conway, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Rhys Ruddock (captain), 5 Devin Toner, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Andrew Porter, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Jack McGrath.
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Christiaan Stander, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Robbie Henshaw.

Date: Saturday, November 18
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin
Kick-off: 17.30 (17.30 GMT; 06.30, Sunday November 19, Fiji Summer time)
Referee: Paul Williams (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Alex Ruiz (France)
TMO: David Grashoff (England)

Agence France-Presse