Here’s The Likely Ireland Team To Take On Italy This Weekend

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Joe Schmidt is set to stick to his guns this weekend.

Despite an opening day loss to Scotland, Joe Schmidt is set to keep the faith this weekend and field almost the exact same side against Italy this weekend.

The only man set to lose his spot in the squad is Ulster’s Iain Henderson, with Munster lock Donnacha Ryan set to come back in and hopefully sure things up in the lineout.

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Schmidt welcomed Andrew Trimble back to full training this week, but it’s unlikely he’ll start against the Italians, with Zebo and Earls set to continue on the wings. Rob Kearney is also set to once again retain the fullback jersey.

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Sexton trained this week but isn’t expected to be named in the squad.

Peter O’Mahony and Johnny Sexton are not expected to be fit enough come Saturday to even warrant a spot on the bench, with Schmidt set to go with the same back-row that played against Scotland and Paddy Jackson once again at outhalf.

Likely Ireland team to face Italy

15. Rob Kearney
14. Keith Earls
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Simon Zebo
10. Paddy Jackson
9. Conor Murray

1. Jack McGrath
2. Rory Best (c)
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Donnacha Ryan
5. Devin Toner
6. CJ Stander
7. Sean O’Brien
8. Jamie Heaslip

Replacements:

16. Niall Scannell
17. Cian Healy
18. John Ryan
19. Iain Henderson
20. Josh van der Flier
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Ian Keatley
23. Andrew Trimble