Joe Schmidt Names Ireland Team To Take On Romania, Sets New World Cup Record
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No spot on the team for Robbie Henshaw.
Joe Schmidt has made 12 changes from the starting line-up that defeated Canada in their tournament opener for Sundays clash with Romania (4.45pm k.o)
The only players to keep their jerseys in the XV are Keith Earls and Jamie Heaslip, who captains the side from the back of the Irish pack.
Keith Earls and Jared Payne are both retained and start at left wing and outside centre, respectively.
Cian Healy gets his first Ireland start since he faced Scotland, at Murrayfield, in March.
He is joined by Richardt Strauss and Nathan White in the front row.
Devin Toner and Donnacha Ryan are second row partners while Jordi Murphy and Chris Henry come into the back row alongside captain Cian Healy.
In the backline, Eoin Reddan and Ian Madigan are the half-back pairing, Earls and Tommy Bowe are on the wings while Simon Zebo slots in at fullback.
Henshaw is not being risked, following recent hamstring worries, so Darren Cave starts at inside centre alongside Payne.
— Irish Rugby (@IrishRugby) September 25, 2015
On an interesting note, Schmidt has gone and inadvertently broken a World Cup record. Ireland’s starting fifteen come in at a combined age of 435, Murphy and Simon Zebo (25) are the two youngest players while Eoin Reddan and Nathan White are both 34.
Schmidt was surprised to be asked about his side’s age profile.
After seeking clarification, he commented, “Hopefully they won’t show their age, and will show enough energy and enthusiasm.”