Ireland team named for Rugby World Cup opener with Romania
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Here we go.
Ireland boss Andy Farrell has named his team for this weekend’s Rugby World Cup opener against Romania, with captain Johnny Sexton returning.
Hugo Keenan, Keith Earls and James Lowe are named in the back three, with Garry Ringrose and Bundee Aki paired in the Ireland midfield. Sexton captains the team as he resumes his half-back pairing with scrum-half Jamison Gibson-Park.
In the pack, Andrew Porter, Rob Herring and Tadhg Furlong start in the front row, with Joe McCarthy – one of six players in the starting XV set for their Rugby World Cup debuts – partnering James Ryan in the second row.
Tadhg Beirne is named at blindside flanker, with Peter O’Mahony at openside and Caelan Doris at number eight.
Farrell has strong options among his bench with Rob Herring, Jeremy Loughman and Tom O’Toole the front row reinforcements, Iain Henderson and Josh van der Flier covering the second and back row respectively, and Conor Murray, Jack Crowley and Robbie Henshaw providing the backline replacements.
Saturday’s match is live on Virgin Media One in the Republic of Ireland and ITV1 in the United Kingdom.
Ireland team vs Romania
15. Hugo Keenan (Leinster/UCD)(31)
14. Keith Earls (Munster/Young Munster)(100)
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster/UCD)(52)
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht/Galwegians)(47)
11. James Lowe (Leinster)(21)
10. Jonathan Sexton (Leinster/St Mary’s College)(captain)(113)
9. Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster)(26)
1. Andrew Porter (Leinster/UCD)(54)
2. Rob Herring (Ulster/Ballynahinch)(37)
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster/Clontarf)(67)
4. Joe McCarthy (Leinster/Dublin University)(3)
5. James Ryan (Leinster/UCD)(55)
6. Tadhg Beirne (Munster/Lansdowne)(41)
7. Peter O’Mahony (Munster/Cork Constitution)(96)
8. Caelan Doris (Leinster/St Mary’s College)(31)
16. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster/Lansdowne)(21)
17. Jeremy Loughman (Munster/Garryowen)(3)
18. Tom O’Toole (Ulster/Ballynahinch)(11)
19. Iain Henderson (Ulster/Academy)(74)
20. Josh van der Flier (Leinster/UCD)(52)
21. Conor Murray (Munster/Garryowen)(107)
22. Jack Crowley (Munster/Cork Constitution)(6)
23. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster/Buccaneers)(65)