The Expected Ireland Team To Take On Italy Contains A Number Of Changes
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Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt will name his side to take on Italy in Rome later today and the New Zealander is expected to make a number of changes from the side that defeated Scotland in Edinburgh a fortnight ago.
Hooker Sean Cronin looks set for a rare start ahead of captain Rory Best who will likely begin on the bench with Peter O’Mahony handed the captaincy duties. Elsewhere Ultan Dillane is in line for his first start of the championship, while Chris Farrell retains his place in the centre alongside Bundee Aki.
Munster loosehead Dave Kilcoyne also looks set to start, while Johnny Sexton will likely retain his place in the starting line-up after recovering from a head knock.
IRELAND (possible v Italy): Rob Kearney; Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale; Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray; David Kilcoyne, Seán Cronin, Tadhg Furlong; Quinn Roux, Ultan Dillane; Peter O’Mahony (capt), Seán O’Brien, Jordi Murphy.
Replacements: Rory Best, Jack McGrath, John Ryan, Iain Henderson, Josh van der Flier, John Cooney, Jack Carty, Andrew Conway.