Ireland name strong side for Italy clash

Robbie Henshaw is set to make his World Cup debut

Robbie Henshaw is set to make his World Cup debut

Joe Schmidt has named an impressive looking XV to take on Italy in Ireland’s third Rugby World Cup game, with the big news being Robbie Henshaw’s debut at the tournament.

The Connacht centre has been troubled with a hamstring strain but he will tog out at 13, and he'll be partnered in the middle of the field by Keith Earls, as Schmidt decides not to risk Jared Payne, who is nursing a bruised foot.

The other injury concern this week, Rob Kearney, is also out of the matchday squad, as Simon Zebo starts at full back.

The Munster man's move to 15 means Dave Kearney takes the 11 shirt while Tommy Bowe keeps his place on the other wing.

Iain Henderson gets the nod ahead of Devin Toner who is amongst the replacements with the versatile Donnacha Ryan missing out completely.
Joe Schmidt has opted for Jack McGrath ahead of Cian Healy but the expectation is that the latter will be given enough time from the bench to stake a claim ahead of the crunch clash against France next week.
Schmidt has otherwise named a full strength side with Luke Fitzgerald covering from the bench.
Sergio Parisse is expected to be included in the Italy side when they name their starting XV at 2pm
Ireland – S Zebo; T Bowe, K Earls, R Henshaw, D Kearney; J Sexton, C Murray; J McGrath, R Best, M Ross; D Toner, P O’Connell (capt); P O’Mahony, S O’Brien, J Heaslip. Reps – S Cronin, C Healy, N White, D Toner, C Henry, E Reddan, I Madigan, L Fitzgerald.

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