Kearney and O'Mahony recalled as Schmidt names team to face All Blacks

Joe Schmidt’s starting XV has 886 caps worth of Test rugby experience.

JOE SCHMIDT HAS recalled Rob Kearney and Peter O’Mahony to his Ireland team to face the All Blacks in their World Cup quarter-final at Tokyo Stadium on Saturday [KO 11.15am Irish time, eir Sport/RTÉ].

The returns of the highly-experienced fullback and blindside flanker are two of three personnel changes to the Ireland team that started last weekend’s hammering of Samoa.

Garry Ringrose comes into the XV in place of the suspended Bundee Aki, with Robbie Henshaw moving to inside centre.

rob-kearney-celebrates-scoring-their-second-try-with-garry-ringrose-and-jonathan-sexton Jayne Russell / INPHO Rob Kearney returns at fullback for Ireland. Jayne Russell / INPHO / INPHO

Kearney was absent last weekend after a groin strain, while O’Mahony was used off the bench.

Schmidt has opted for a highly-experienced and proven starting team that features 886 caps worth of Test rugby nous, while the entire Ireland matchday 23 has 1,058 caps compared to the All Blacks’ 1,075.

Ireland’s starting XV features 12 of the players who started last November’s 16-9 win over the All Blacks in Dublin, with Iain Henderson starting in place of Devin Toner, Henshaw in place of Aki, and Conor Murray in place of Kieran Marmion.

Seven of this weekend’s team also started against the All Blacks in Ireland’s first-ever win over the Kiwis in Chicago in 2016.

Schmidt has gone for his settled back three combination of Kearney, Jacob Stockdale, and Keith Earls, while Ringrose partners Henshaw in midfield. Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton are the starting halfbacks for a new record 56th time.

Captain Rory Best forms the front row with Cian Healy and Tadhg Furlong, while Henderson and James Ryan are in the second row. Vice-captain O’Mahony is part of a back row that also includes CJ Stander and Josh van der Flier.

Rhys Ruddock and Jordan Larmour are included on a strong Ireland bench.

Ireland (v New Zealand):

15. Rob Kearney
14. Keith Earls
13. Garry Ringrose   
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray

1. Cian Healy
2. Rory Best (captain)
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Iain Henderson
5. James Ryan
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Josh van der Flier
8. CJ Stander


16. Niall Scannell
17. Dave Kilcoyne
18. Andrew Porter
19. Tadhg Beirne
20. Rhys Ruddock 
21. Luke McGrath
22. Joey Carbery
23. Jordan Larmour

Referee: Nigel Owens [Wales].

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